Officer inside van set alight during riot speaks out

A police officer found in a van set on by rioters in Bristol has described how the incident unfolded.

It comes as the Avon and Somerset police release a new video of the incident in hopes of identifying a suspect.

The officer described the first hearing on the radio how colleagues were injured outside the Bridewell Police Station.

“I knew from the radio that my colleagues were attacked outside the Bridewell Police Station where damage had been caused,” said the officer.

“I could hear screams and shouts from the officers as they were attacked – a call was made for vehicles to assist the officers.

“The only way to protect my colleagues was to place the vehicle on the side in front of them to provide protection. There were glass bottles, fist-sized stones, pallets, fences, and other items scattered across the street that were used against the police.

“In the vehicle, a few people tried to gain access to the vehicle, but the vehicle was bolted down.

“I was aware of the smell of burning and CCTV reported that people were trying to light the vehicle tires while I was still in, so I started preparing to decamp the vehicle.”

Ch Supt Carolyn Belafonte, who is overseeing the investigation into the incident, said: “This official’s report is just one of many we have gathered from our colleagues on the scene of this terrible incident.

“It is annoying to hear our colleagues fear for their lives that night, and it strengthens our determination to bring those responsible to justice.

“Our investigation is moving quickly, but it is arduous work.

“Our online gallery, which currently contains 18 images, has been viewed more than 80,000 times since it was launched. To date, we have received more than 200 calls and around 280 pieces of evidence from the public. This is a phenomenal answer and we are grateful for any information.

“I would ask people to look at the latest picture we have published and give us a call if they know who it is – or you can provide information using a special form on our website

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We are releasing footage of a specific incident that occurred during the violent incident in Bristol on Sunday.

“The footage shows the moment when a lighted object was placed under a police car while a police officer was inside.”


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