14 Arrested in Bristol After Protest Against New Police Bill - Law Enforcement

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Representative Image

Bristol [England], March 24 (ANI/Sputnik): Over a dozen people were arrested in the English city of Bristol after a protest against a new bill that would grant law enforcement new powers at demonstrations, Avon and Somerset Police said on Wednesday.

"A protest in Bristol of around 200 people has now concluded after officers enforced COVID-19 legislation," police said in a statement in the early hours of Wednesday, adding that "A total of 14 people were arrested for offences including breaches of COVID-19 legislation and obstruction of a highway."

According to Avon and Somerset Police, one of the detained was arrested for offences connected with the violent disorder in Bristol on Sunday.

"Officers had engaged with protestors and asked them to disperse, but tents and a sound system were set up so it was abundantly clear they were intent on remaining at the location, in spite of legislation in place to protect public health," Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said as quoted in the Wednesday release.

The protest held in Bristol late on Tuesday night was against the government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. It followed the Sunday violent riots in the city against the expansion of police powers.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the Sunday riots in Bristol unacceptable.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees have also condemned the Bristol violence against law enforcement officers. Rees said on Sunday that lawlessness such as the Sunday events in the city would not help tackle political, economic and social inequality.

The mayor admitted that the bill on the expansion of police powers in Bristol had its flaws but attacking law enforcement officers were not going to help improve it.

Several hundred people gathered in central Bristol on Sunday, protesting against the expansion of police powers at demonstrations. Protesters were spraying paint and throwing objects at law enforcement officers. They set fire to police vehicles and broke the windows of a police station. About 20 police officers were injured during the riots and two of them were hospitalized with fractures.

Avon and Somerset Police stressed on Sunday that all those responsible for violence and damage would be held accountable. (ANI/Sputnik)