Boris Johnson condemns ‘disgraceful attacks’ on police at Bristol ‘Kill the Bill’ protest

  • Watch police and protesters clash in Bristol

Boris Johnson has condemned the “disgraceful attacks” on police officers during a third ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol.

Officers clashed with protesters during a third night of action in the city on 26 March.

Police said missiles - including eggs, bricks and glass bottles - were thrown as they attempted to disperse a crowd gathered in Lewins Mead.

Ten people have been arrested following the disorder for offences including assault of an emergency worker and possession of Class A drugs.

Ten people have been arrested after a third protest in Bristol. Credit: PA

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said “police and the city” had his full support.

“Last night saw disgraceful attacks against police officers in Bristol,” he said.

“Our officers should not have to face having bricks, bottles and fireworks being thrown at them by a mob intent on violence and causing damage to property.

“The police and the city have my full support.”

His condemnation of protesters was echoed by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who said she was “disgusted”.

Police said missiles including eggs, bricks and glass bottles were thrown at them during the protest. Credit: PA

“I am disgusted by the disorder in Bristol and the violence being directed towards the police,” she said.

“I’m in no doubt the silent, law-abiding majority will be appalled by the actions of this criminal minority.

Andy Robuck, who is the Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said the protest had been "hijacked" by "criminals".

In a tweet, he said: "The criminals who hijack the protests are passive aggressive.

"Pre-planned and orchestrated in their approach which provokes a required police response.

"It’s staged by this hardcore who have attended numerous protests across the country. Don’t be fooled."

Meanwhile, Superintendent and Bristol Police Commander Mark Runacres, said officers responded appropriately to what they had to deal with during the event.

His comments follow criticism from protestors for the way the force acted.

What is 'Kill The Bill'?

People have been demonstrating against a proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would give police increased power to stop protests.

The Bill also makes a special new law to protect monuments and statues, in the wake of the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, with the crime of damaging them punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Under new government proposals trespass would become a criminal offence - rather than being a civil matter - in order to tackle unauthorised encampments, giving police the power to seize vehicles and arrest people who refuse to move.

Those breaking the new law on trespass could be fined up to £2,500 and could face a prison sentence of up to three months, but concerns have been raised by both academics and organisations that the new law will disproportionately affect travellers and more widely those living on roadside camps.

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