Violent protesters have targeted police horses during the second weekend of violence in Bristol.
An image shared by Avon & Somerset Police appears to show a police horse that has been struck by paint. Avon & Somerset Police also confirmed that fireworks were thrown at the horses.
A spokesperson for the force said that multiple arrests were made following the violent disorder in Bristol city centre overnight.
More than 1,000 people had gathered at College Green from 16:00 hours for a protest.
Specialist protest liaison officers from Avon & Somerset Police attempted to engage with the crowd to remind them of the current coronavirus restrictions.
Officers urged them to return home, but these pleas were ignored.
At approximately 17:00 hours, the crowd began marching through the city centre.
At around 18.30 hours, many protesters congregated on Lewins Mead in front of a police cordon.
After officers smelled ammonia in the crowd, they were instructed to don their PPE.
Shortly after 22:00 hours officers moved to disperse people as items, including eggs and glass bottles, began to be thrown at them.
Some of the rioters tried to take the riot shields that officers were using to protect themselves from the missiles thrown at them.
Avon & Somerset Police brought in mutual aid from neighbouring forces to ensure the crowds were dispersed as safely as possible.
Specialist resources, including dogs, horses and the police helicopter, were used in the policing operation, which concluded at approximately 1am.
A total of 10 people were arrested. One has since been issued a fixed penalty notice, while the other nine remain in police custody.
Superintendent Mark Runacres said:
“The majority of people acted peacefully however there was a minority who once again showed hostility to officers.
“Items, including glass bottles and bricks were thrown at officers, fireworks were launched at our mounted section while one of our horses was also covered with paint.
“This violent conduct is not acceptable.
“Officers repeatedly encouraged people to disperse, but once the atmosphere changed, and people became physical, it was necessary to take action.
“Ten people were arrested for offences, including violent disorder, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of Class A drugs.
“Three of those arrested were also detained in connection with the violent disorder which took place in Bristol on Sunday.”
Supt Runacres added: “All the officers policing the incident are specially trained and accredited in public order and showed exceptional patience in the face of a significant disorder.
“At times reasonable force had to be used – this is not something we ever want to do but we have a duty to uphold the law, prevent crime, and protect people and property.”
A spokesperson for Avon & Somerset Polices’ Mounted Branch said:
‘This evening, officers have been targeted with further violence, some of which was directed towards our horses;.
If you have the Google News app on your phone, don’t forget to follow ‘Emergency Services News’.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of our readers.
And remember, if you have a service, product or job vacancy that you would like to promote to our large readership, then you can buy advertising space in our articles.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.