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Police in Bristol can't guarantee adequate safety measures at Greta Thunberg youth climate protest

17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is visiting Bristol to lead the protest and give a speech in the city centre. Credit: PA

Police say they can't guarantee adequate safety measures when climate activist Greta Thunberg joins a mass protest through the streets of Bristol on Friday.

In a letter sent to parents they admit the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration could bring large parts of Bristol to a standstill. Greta Thunberg is expected to give a speech on College Green and then join a protest march through the city.

It is not known how big the protest will be, but 60,000 people turned out to see the seventeen-year-old when she joined a protest in Hamburg.

People are expected to travel from across the country to attend, and police have urged all parents to ensure their children are properly supervised.

Greta Thunberg founded the youth strike movement in 2018 after she sat in solitude outside the Swedish Parliament building. Credit: ITV West Country

Supt. Andy Bennet, Avon and Somerset Police said, "The event has grown so large, that usual controls, stewarding and safety measures that are routinely put in place are unlikely to be scaled up adequately. Therefore those attending will need to make their own informed decisions. "

Park Street and a section of the city centre will be closed. The march is expected to go from College Green to Broadmead and then back again.

It is expected to cause 'significant traffic disruption'.

Police say the organisers of the event are unlikely to be able to provide the promised areas suitable for primary school children and the disabled, saying, this is 'probably unachievable'.

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Greta Thunberg founded the youth strike movement in 2018 after she sat in solitude outside the Swedish Parliament building.

Millions of students across the world have since participated in strikes held in cities such as London, Paris and Madrid - as well as here in the West Country.

Bristol City Council and the Avon and Somerset Police are unable to accurately predict how large this event will be however we have confirmation of people travelling from across the UK to attend.

The event has grown so large that the usual controls, stewarding and safety measures that are routinely put in place by the teenage Youth Strike 4 Climate organisers may not be adequate, especially for primary school children and people with disabilities.

We would therefore encourage those attending, or who are responsible for children who wish to attend, to consider their arrangements carefully and make their own informed decisions.

The council will be closing some roads to minimise risk of harm to road users, pedestrians and protestors. The organisers have been unable to clarify full details of timings and routes, so we cannot at present give final details of road closures. Please look out for further communications.

In terms of big crowds, there is the potential for trips, slips, falls and crushing. People can easily be separated from their friends and family. Mobile phone signals can be intermittent due to saturation on the communications masts. It is also unlikely people will be able to leave the area quickly, and access to toilets and water will be very limited. There will also be delays to public transport.

Please do not underestimate the scale of this protest.

We’re working to ensure Bristol is open as usual, but would urge people to allow extra time for travel and consider whether their journey is necessary.

– Avon and Somerset Police / Bristol City Council