Kill The Bill: Leeds PCSO slams scenes at Bristol protests which saw police cars set on fire

A Leeds PCSO has reacted after protests against a new policing powers bill in Bristol turned violent and saw police vehicles set on fire

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 11:20 am
The scenes in Bristol on Sunday as police cars were set on fire and torched by pockets of the protesters. Photo: SWNS

Dramatic footage shows a graffiti-ed police van being set alight as thousands of protestors gathered in Bristol city centre on Sunday.

Several thousand people gathered in the centre of Bristol from 2pm on Sunday afternoon, before marching through the city.

And in the evening, the protestors gathered outside Bridewell police station - spray-painting and setting fire to a police van, and smashing the front windows of the police station.

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It comes in response to the proposed Police, Crime, and Sentencing Bill, which will give police chiefs the ability to put more conditions on protests.

This will include the need for permission for protests to be granted in advance, with imposed starting and finishing times and set noise limits, or else facing a £2,500 fine.

And damage to memorials and statues could also lead to up to ten years in jail.

On Monday, PCSO Alicia Hui, who covers Alwoodley in Leeds, reacted to the scenes in a tweet.

Protesters and riot police in Bristol. Photo: SWNS

She said: "We don't have infinite resources of police vehicles just waiting to be used. This costs money, money that could be spent elsewhere and be more useful.

"I hope all of my colleagues in Bristol are okay."

A police statement issued by Avon and Somerset Police on Sunday evening condemned the 'violent' scenes.

The statement read: "Following a protest held earlier today, several hundred people congregated outside Bridewell Police Station during the afternoon.

"What started out as a peaceful protest was 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.

"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.

"All those involved in this criminal behaviour will be identified and brought to justice. There will be significant consequences for behaviour such as this."

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