Bristol riots leave police officer with collapsed lung as 20 coppers injured

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Twenty police officers were injured during protests in Bristol on Sunday night, including one who suffered a collapsed lung after being stamped on.

Another officer suffered broken bones, Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh said on Monday morning.

Twelve police vehicles were also damaged in the violence with photos from the scene showing burning cars.

Police said perpetrators would be "identified and brought to justice" but it's unknown if there have been any arrests at this stage.

Thousands had gathered at the 'Kill the Bill' demonstration to protest the Government's controversial Police and Crime Bill, which is being debated by MPs this week.

Critics say the bill is undemocratic and would criminalise the act of protesting in the UK, giving cops new powers to heavily restrict protests they believe may result in "serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community".

Avon and Somerset police chief constable Andy Marsh told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "most seriously 12 of my brave officers have been injured, two of them seriously, doing their best to protect property and the people of Bristol from what was violent criminality and thuggery".

He said the numbers at the demonstration "very quickly" rose to possibly as many as 3,000 people and a group of 400 or 500 "who really were intent on violence, damage and criminality started to commit crimes, damage police vehicles" at about 6pm outside Bridewell police station in central Bristol.

He described Bridewell as a neighbourhood station which is also used by police officers to protect the most vulnerable in the city.

He told the programme: "We know they have burnt out three marked vehicles, nine vehicles that are used for safeguarding the most vulnerable have also been damaged and the windows of the station have been put in."

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Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said he recognised "the frustrations" with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill but said that "smashing buildings in our city centre, vandalising vehicles, attacking our police will do nothing to lessen the likelihood of the bill going through".

Avon and Somerset Police had encouraged people to stay away from the demonstration, technically illegal under current Covid laws, and attend virtual protests instead.

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