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22nd Mar 2021

Police vans in Bristol set alight as Kill The Bill protests turn violent

Protests against the policing bill turned violent in Bristol on Sunday night, with protestors setting an unattended police van on fire

Claudia McInerney

Several police officers were left injured after the Bristol protest

Protests against the Police and Crime Bill, which would give the police force greater powers to shut down demonstrations, turned violent last night in the city of Bristol.

Police vehicles were set alight by protestors, fireworks were thrown and police stations were targeted. Several police officers were injured as a result, with some suffering from broken bones.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned the violent scenes from Bristol last night, labelling them as “unacceptable.”

In a tweet last night, she said: “Unacceptable scenes in Bristol tonight. Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated. Our police officers put themselves in harms way to protect us all.  My thoughts this evening are with those police officers injured.”

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees told Sky News this morning that he is “furious” about the scenes in the city last night.

He said: “It is the level of the politically illiteracy of these thugs as well that is a real problem here.”

He told Sky News that the violent protestors have not lessened the likelihood of the Bill passing through Parliament, but instead will be used as evidence for the Bill to go through to the next stages.

In a statement last night, Chief Superintendent Will White said that the demonstration initially started peacefully, before certain protesters started using violent measures to protest.

He said: “What started out as a peaceful protest has been turned by a small minority into a violent disorder.

“These scenes are absolutely disgraceful and they will be widely condemned by people across the city. There can never be any excuse for wanton disorder.

“Officers have been subjected to considerable levels of abuse and violence. One suffered a broken arm and another suffered broken ribs. Both have been taken to hospital.

“These are men and women out there with the intention of serving and protecting the public – they should never be subjected to assaults or abuse in this way.”