New footage shows officers inside Bristol police station during riot

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has released footage of officers inside a police station as it came under attack from a group of rioters during violent disorder that took place in Bristol on March 21.

Apr 21, 2021
By Tony Thompson

Multiple police vehicles were damaged, including two police vans that were set on fire, and the glass exterior of Bridewell police station was smashed.

The footage shows officers in riot gear, armed with batons and incapacitant spray, preparing to defend the building in the event that the rioters manage to gain access.

The force also released footage filmed by a National Police Air Service helicopter, which shows a police van under sustained attack as an officer reverses away from a crowd of people.

The cost to repair one of the vans and replace the other is £5,676 and £25,000 respectively, while the cost of the damage to the police station has been calculated at £41,350.

Forty-four officers were assaulted during the disorder – 39 of whom sustained injuries as a result. One other officer was also injured but not as a result of an assault.

The force previously corrected a statement it issued the day after the riot, which wrongly claimed officers had suffered broken bones and one had sustained a punctured lung in the disorder.

An ongoing investigation has so far led to the arrest of 42 people. A 14-year-old boy has also attended a voluntary interview. One man has also been charged with arson with intent to endanger life, violent disorder, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and two counts of criminal damage. He appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, March 3, where he was remanded in custody pending a hearing at Bristol Crown Court next month.

Alongside the footage, the force also released 18 more images of people detectives want to identify. They are the fourth set of images to be released to the public and include 14 new images and four alternative images of people who have already featured.

Detective Chief Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte said: “It’s now four weeks since the shameful scenes outside one of our neighbourhood police stations. Thousands of hours of digital media including CCTV and mobile phone footage have been viewed and significant progress has already been made. The public response to our appeals so far has been really positive with 653 calls made to our control room and 390 submissions made through our website.

“The financial costs of the disorder are substantial but ultimately it’s the communities of Bristol which pay the price – after all, it’s taxpayer’s money which could have been spent on safeguarding and protecting our communities.

“We can’t let the people responsible get away with what they did. They are a disgrace and need to face the consequence of their actions. We have 35 people on our online gallery who we want to identify and I urge anyone who recognises any of them to contact us.”

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