'Kill the Bill' protest: Bristol police release pictures of 10 protesters after cops attacked in riot carnage

POLICE have released pictures of 10 protesters after officers were attacked and property set alight during a night of carnage at the 'Kill the Bill' riots in Bristol.

Twenty police officers were injured as a “mob of animals” left cops with broken arms and ribs, set fire to police vans and hurled fireworks during violent clashes on Sunday night.

Avon and Somerset Police are now hunting 10 people – six men and four women – and have urged anyone with information to help identify them to come forward.

Thousands of protesters joined the "Kill the Bill" march on Sunday night over plans to give cops more powers to tackle non-violent marches.

The mob shouted “Shame on you” as at least two police vehicles were set on fire, while others were smashed up, daubed with graffiti and had their tyres let down.

Yobs armed with baseball bats also smashed glass panels of Bristol’s Bridewell police station while officers in riot gear and on horseback attempted to disperse the baying crowd.

Detective Chief Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte said: "The investigation into Sunday's disgraceful scenes of violence will undoubtedly be one of the largest in Avon and Somerset Police's history.

"More than 100 officers and staff continue to work on the inquiry which is being led by our major crime investigation team.

"Hundreds of hours of digital material has already been reviewed and images of the first 10 people detectives want to talk to about Sunday's events have been identified.

"Officers and staff are working their way through images and footage as quickly as they can but with more than two terabytes worth of CCTV footage as well as nearly 100 officers' body worn video cameras and more than 100 videos already sent in by members of the public to review, this will take a considerable amount of time.

"We expect to release images of many more people in the coming days and ask anyone who recognises anyone to contact us."

Protesters wore masks and carried placards that read: “Say no to UK police state”, “Freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy” and “Kill the Bill”.

Avon and Somerset Police have already confirmed seven people were arrested in connection with the violent scenes – six for violent disorder and one for possession of an offensive weapon.

Chief Constable Marsh said "many more" would be arrested in the coming days as officers examined a large amount of CCTV footage from the riot.

Chief Constable Marsh said the numbers at the demonstration "very quickly" rose to as many as 3,000 people – while a group of 400 or 500 "were intent on violence, damage and criminality".

He said a number of the rioters "came for a fight with the police", adding: "It wasn't people frustrated with the lack of ability to protest.

"This was people intent on causing serious disorder, violence and damage, people with a grudge against the police."

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give forces in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non- violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance, with fines or jail for those convicted.

Mass gatherings are currently banned because of the pandemic – but thousands turned up despite officers strongly advising against doing so.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said: "Smashing buildings in our city centre, vandalising vehicles, attacking our police will do nothing to lessen the likelihood of the Bill going through.

"On the contrary, the lawlessness on show will be used as evidence and promote the need for the Bill.

"This is a shameful day in an incredible year for Bristol."

Anyone with information can alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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