A significant investigation into the violent disorder in Bristol city centre yesterday has been launched with more than 100 officers and staff working on the inquiry.
A total of 21 officers were injured – two of them seriously – when they were violently confronted by people gathered outside the Bridewell Police Station in Bridewell Street yesterday evening.
Officers were attacked and threatened, police vehicles including a community police station were set on fire and criminal damage was caused to the police station exterior.
So far, eight arrests have been made – six for violent disorder and two for possession of an offensive weapon.
The Major Crime Investigation Team is leading the inquiry, with support from colleagues in CID, Operational Support, Intelligence and Forensics, to track down those responsible for the violence and damage.
Det Chief Supt Carolyn Belafonte said the investigation would be comprehensive and could result in the release of the largest number of images for wanted suspects in the force’s history.
She said: “What happened on the streets of Bristol on Sunday was nothing short of disgraceful and it’s provoked widespread condemnation over the past 24 hours.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and kindness that we’ve received from the public, as well as from organisations and agencies across the city. It’s greatly appreciated and means a lot to all the officers and staff who work day in, day out to keep the public safe.
“We have an enormous amount of digital evidence to go through including CCTV footage, Body Worn Video, social media coverage and footage/photos provided by people at the scene.
“We’ve already started receiving a large amount of digital material from the public, which we’re grateful for, but to ensure we capture all available evidence, we’ve set up a dedicated form via our website where people can provide video footage and photos
“Once we’ve carried out an initial view of the material we’ve collated, we’ll be in a position to release images to the public to help us identify suspects. From what we’ve already collated, we’re confident more arrests are imminent.
“A full forensic examination of the scene has been carried out today and this has resulted in forensic evidence being obtained, including fingerprints, which will also be used to help identify suspects.
“This will be a lengthy investigation but we’re wholly committed to tracking down all those who engaged in the wanton disorder yesterday. To those who took part in this spree of offending, you can expect a knock at your door in the days or weeks to come – it may come sooner than you think.”