Pellets fired at people attending Trans Pride picnic in Bristol being treated as a hate crime

Pellets have been fired at people attending a Trans Pride picnic in Bristol.

The incident happened on Sunday 2 July and is being described as a hate crime incident.

Bristol Pride organisers tweeted a statement on Monday morning that read: "We are deeply saddened to hear that someone decided to fire BB pellets at those attending the Trans Pride picnic on Sunday afternoon.

"An event where people simply wanted to come together to enjoy a picnic together as a community.

"They were swiftly chased off and the police are dealing with the matter as a hate crime.

"Whilst many may say they are shocked to hear this, it is a sad reality that the community is currently under attack and acts as a further reminder that online hate can enter everyday life.

"It highlights why we have Pride events and why we all must stand together in solidarity with the Trans community.

"The event was not disrupted further and went ahead to be an event filled with joy and togetherness."

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that they are investigating a hate crime incident that happened in Castle Park at the weekend.

They were called at around 3pm yesterday (Sunday 2 July) to reports of gel pellets being fired in the direction of an event organised as part of Bristol Pride.

Officers attended and spoke with the event organisers and victims. They have had no reports of any serious injuries, but attendees were left shaken by the incident.

Speaking to ITV West Country, Kaz who attended the picnic said: "There was certainly lots of pellets being shot, it wasn't a loud shooting noise but there were plenty scattered around.

"Other individuals were hit and what concerns me is there was families there with young children, we had people with one and a half year old kids and if one of those pellets had hit them in the eye it would do very serious damage."

There are fears amongst those who attended they were being purposefully targeted.

"We were a large crowd and they were just there to target us because we were assembled.

"We had a clear trans flag on show with people wearing pride and trans colours so my fear is we may well have been targeted, that's for the police to decide."

They are treating this incident as a hate crime and an investigation is underway. CCTV footage is being reviewed and enquiries are ongoing.

Chief Inspector Stephanie McKenna said: "We take hate crime very seriously and will not tolerate it.

"No-one should have to put up with offences like this, or face discrimination or prejudice just for being themselves.

"We’ve made contact with the organisers of Bristol Pride to keep them updated on our investigation and we encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to report it.

"As with all large events, officers will be in Bristol this weekend to keep the community safe, and if anyone has any concerns, please stop and speak to one of our officers who will be happy to help."

Police are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area between 2.30-3pm who may have seen two men, one described as white and the other as mixed race, both in their early 20s and wearing black clothing.

They were seen leaving the scene in the direction of Bristol Bridge.

If you saw anything suspicious, or have any relevant footage which could aid our investigation, please contact 101 and quote reference 5223157339.

If you are a victim of hate crime, you can report it online or alternatively, victims can report such incidents here.

It's not the first occurrence of hate crimes in Bristol over the last few weeks.

A Bristol Pride billboard on Station Road in Montpelier was set on fire less than 24 hours after it was put up on Monday 19 June.

A pride door mat was also stolen in Bedminster and the replacement was covered with black spray paint.

Bristol Pride is taking place between 24 June to the 9 July.