One police officer has been left with a collapsed lung, and another has been left with broken bones after a violent mob of out-of-control protesters lay siege to Bridgewell Police Station.
A reporter from BristolLive, who was at the scene, said that the police station was “under siege” as missiles rained down on the location.
‘Thousands of people had gathered on College Green earlier on in the day to take part in protests before marching through the city centre via Broadmead.
A group then split off from the main protest and made their way to Bridgewell Police Station to carry out a ‘sit-down’ protest.
After becoming violent and aggressive towards the police, the dog and mounted sections were deployed to the scene.
Tensions boiled over into scenes of utter chaos as Avon & Somerset police officers came under a prolonged and sustained attack.
Around a dozen police vehicles were damaged, with some being set alight, by the out-of-control mob who seemed intent on causing as much damage and harming as many police officers as possible.
Rocks and fireworks were hurtled towards the police, including the police dogs and horses.
Chants of ‘Who’s streets? Our streets’ could be heard as the streets in question quickly turned into a melting pot of extreme violence.
Around 22 police officers were injured during the mini-riot, with several of them being hospitalised.
Ch Supt Will White, Gold commander, 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.
“At least two police vehicles have been set on fire and damage has been caused to the outside of the station. Protestors are not inside the building.
“We have requested mutual aid from neighbouring forces to bring this incident to a safe conclusion.
“All those involved in this criminal behaviour will be identified and brought to justice. There will be significant consequences for behaviour such as this.”
ASPoliceHorses tweeted to say: ‘After some very upsetting scenes in Bristol this evening all six horses and their riders are still on duty but safe. Thank you to everyone for your concern. It’s been a very long shift’.
A spokesperson for ASPoliceDogs tweeted: ‘Fantastic effort from our dogs deployed tonight in Bristol. All dogs and handlers are still on duty and safe with no injuries. Thank you to everyone for your concern in what has been a very long testing shift for them’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: ‘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’.
Andy Roebuck, Chair of Avon & Somerset Police Federation, said:
‘Disgusting scenes in Bristol by a mob of animals who are injuring Police Officers, members of the public and damaging property.
‘@ASPolfed are attending stations to support officers. We have officers with suspected broken arms and ribs.
‘This is so wrong’
Speaking about the riots and violence towards the police, the Mayor of Bristol, said:
‘Smashing buildings in our city centre, vandalising vehicles, attacking our police will do nothing to lessen the likelihood of the [Police and Crime Bill] going through.
‘On the contrary, the lawlessness on show will be used as evidence and promote the need for the Bill’.
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