Bristol riot: Police appeal for stills and footage as more arrests made

Police say they have been "overwhelmed" by support and kindness. Credit: PA

Police have set up a dedicated page for people to submit photos and footage of the riot in Bristol at the weekend.

Avon and Somerset Police says its investigation "could result in the release of the largest number of images for wanted suspects in the force’s history".

A 'Kill The Bill' protest saw thousands of people gather peacefully in the city on Sunday 21 March. But as the evening wore on, violent clashes broke out.

A total of 21 police officers were injured during the riot, two of them seriously, with one "isolated" officer "dragged" into the crowd before being stamped on and kicked.

A vandalised police van on fire outside Bridewell police station in Bristol Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Police vehicles were set on fire and the windows of Bridewell Police Station were smashed or covered in graffiti. Police say the damage will cost around £1million to put right.

Avon and Somerset Police has said there will be "serious consequences" for those involved, with more than 100 officers and staff working on an investigation.

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Officers were attacked and threatened, police vehicles and a community police station were set on fire and criminal damage was caused to the police station exterior.

So far, eight arrests have been made - six for violent disorder and two for possession of an offensive weapon.

Det Chief Supt Carolyn Belafonte said the investigation would be comprehensive and could result in the release of the largest number of images for wanted suspects in the force’s history.

She added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and kindness that we’ve received from the public, as well as from organisations and agencies across the city. It’s greatly appreciated and means a lot to all the officers and staff who work day in, day out to keep the public safe.

“We have an enormous amount of digital material to go through including CCTV footage, Body Worn Video, social media coverage and footage/photos provided by people at the scene.

“We’ve already started receiving a large amount of digital material from the public, which we’re grateful for, but to ensure we capture all available evidence, we’ve set up a dedicated form via our website where people can provide video footage and photos -

Demonstrators clash with police in Bristol. Credit: PA

“Once we’ve carried out an initial view of the evidence we’ve collated, we’ll be in a position to release images to the public to help us identify suspects. From what we’ve already obtained, we’re confident more arrests are imminent.

“A full forensic examination of the scene has been carried out today and this has resulted in forensic evidence being obtained, including fingerprints, which will also be used to help identify suspects.

“This will be a lengthy investigation but we’re wholly committed to tracking down all those who engaged in the wanton disorder yesterday. To those who took part in this spree of offending, you can expect a knock at your door in the days or weeks to come – it may come sooner than you think.”

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