There were chaotic scenes in Bristol today as a protest saw a police station attacked, officers injured and a van torched.
What started as a non-violent demonstration in the city centre against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill turned violent after hundreds of protesters marched from College Green to the New Bridewell police station.
Police Federation representatives said Avon and Somerset officers had suffered broken arms and ribs after being attacked by rioters.
Windows of the police station were smashed and Avon and Somerset Police vans were also targeted.
Some had their windows smashed, were sprayed were graffiti and repeatedly rocked from side.
Uniformed officers with riot shields used a fire extinguisher to put one small blaze that was started underneath one vehicle.
A short time later rioters destroyed a mobile police station van that had been parked on a nearby side street by setting it alight.
Later, protesters attempted to smash the windows of the glass-fronted police station.
They also tried to set fire to one of the marked police vans parked outside the station but the small flames were quickly extinguished by riot officers.
Other protesters set fire to a police van parked on Bridewell Street, near to the police station.
Avon and Somerset Police said missiles had been thrown at them, including fireworks, and they had also been verbally abused.
Pictures showed mounted officers intervening to disperse the large crowd that had gathered outside the police station.
The violence was condemned by the Home Secretary, police federation representatives and MPs.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “Unacceptable scenes in Bristol tonight.
“Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated. Our police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect us all.
“My thoughts this evening are with those police officers injured.”
Andy Roebuck, chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: “Disgusting scenes in Bristol by a mob of animals who are injuring police officers, members of the public and damaging property.
“Avon and Somerset Police Federation are attending stations to support officers.
“We have officers with suspected broken arms and ribs.
“This is so wrong.”