Police confirms arrest of fourteen people at a second night of protests in Bristol.
College Green, Bristol saw about 130 people demonstrating against the government’s new Police and Crime Bill on Tuesday Night. This came after two days of the protest in the city turned violent after dark, leading to injury of several police officers.
Home Secretary Priti Patel responded to the situation saying there is “no acceptability” for “criminality and thuggish behaviour”.
Avon and Somerset Police mentioned it had to act due to lockdown limitations.
Out of those arrested one was in connection with the disorder in Bristol on Sunday, the force mentioned.
Ms Patel mentioned: “Protests are unlawful right now and quite frankly we have just seen more criminality and violent behaviour, which is simply unacceptable.”
She further added: “Peaceful protest is totally different from what we’ve seen in Bristol.
“We live in a democracy and obviously we uphold the right to protest but we’re in the pandemic and I would urge people to continue to follow the rules and guidance.”
There were around 200 to 250 people at the peak of the demonstration on Tuesday afternoon, which had been quiet, with some of those planning to sleep in tents at College Green overnight.
However, similar to Sunday, police said they only took action after dark when people did not listen and ignored instructions to leave.
Ch Supt Claire Armes remarked: “We will always attract opposing and differing views in these situations but we have successfully cleared the area and minimised any disruption to the city of Bristol.”
Initially, she said campaigners had “insulted” Bristol’s communities, who “have made too many sacrifices and worked so hard” to defeat coronavirus.
Officers from British Transport Police, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Dyfed Powys, Gloucestershire, Gwent and Wiltshire forces were enrolled in to help.
In a tweet, police mentioned officers had tried to engage with the protestors earlier in the evening and asked them to move on.
“It’s disappointing we needed to take this action on a day we remember those who’ve lost their lives,” the force said earlier, mentioning to the anniversary of the first national lockdown.
The streets of Bristol have seen riot police for the second time in three days.
The police had asked people earlier in the day to leave and disperse but when those people didn’t engage, this happened.
The national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales mentioned to his colleagues in the city feel “under siege”. John Apter mentioned, “I really feel for my colleagues in Bristol. There is a sense that you really feel under siege. And for some, whatever they [police officers] do, is not enough and for others, it’s too much.
“My colleagues are battered and bruised, in some cases physically. We’ve got a number of officers who were injured on Sunday evening, some very seriously.
“This is completely unacceptable.”
Police said that soon before 23:00 GMT protesters had been moved off to College Green but that a “significant number” remained on Deanery Road “and “continue to refuse to leave the area”.