A protest in Bristol has turned violent this evening (Sunday). Police officers report that they have been the target of rockets – including fireworks – and verbal abuse.
Hundreds of people gathered on College Green in Bristol before marching to a police station on nearby Nelson Street.
Pictures shared online show graffiti being sprayed on an Avon and Somerset police vehicle and rocked back and forth by protesters.
Other images show a police car parked on Bridewell Street and set on fire near the police station.
Protesters who marched against a bill to give police more powers to deal with nonviolent protests.
But mounted officers had to step in to disperse the large crowd that had gathered outside the New Bridewell Police Station.
Andy Roebuck, chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: “Disgusting scenes in Bristol with a lot of animals hurting police officers, members of the public and damaging property.
“Avon and Somerset Police Federation are visiting stations to assist officers. We have officers suspected of having broken arms and ribs. That’s so wrong. “
John Apter, national chairman of the Federation of Police of England and Wales, said: “Terrible scenes in Bristol.
“Number of officers seriously injured, damaged police vehicles and attacked police stations.
“This is not a protest, it is just senseless violence. Thoughts are with my colleagues.”
A police spokesman said: “The protest is now focused on Bridewell Street, so we advise motorists to avoid this area.
“We know that there are few cases of criminal damage in the afternoon, including graffiti. These are being investigated.”
“Officials continue to deal with fewer protesters on Bridewell Street.
“They were pelted with projectiles, including fireworks, and verbally abused.
“This is unacceptable behavior and those responsible for the crime are being identified and brought to justice.”
The Police, Crime, Conviction and Courts Act would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too loud or disruptive.
Those convicted under the proposed law could face a fine or prison.
Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus law, and anyone who breaks the rules can be fined.
Many wore face masks and posters with the words, “Say no to the British Police State” and “Freedom of protest is fundamental to democracy” and “Kill the Bill”.
Avon and Somerset police had urged people not to participate in the demonstration and warned that enforcement action could be taken.
“Officials are working with a number of people who showed up at the protest,” added the spokeswoman.
“The officers continue to work with the participants.
“Enforcement action will be taken retrospectively when necessary and proportionate.”