Burning Item Placed Under Police Van During Protest

Avon and Somerset Police released footage on March 25 of a lit item being placed under a police van, with an officer inside, during a protest in Bristol on March 21.

The incident occurred during the “Kill the Bill” protest against the UK government’s new crime bill in the city on Sunday.

In a statement, the officer in the van said: "I was aware from the radio that my colleagues were under attack outside the front of Bridewell police station where damage had been caused…I could hear screaming and shouting from the officers as they were being attacked – a call was made for vehicles to be used to assist officers.

“The only way to protect my colleagues was to place the vehicle across, side on, in front of them to offer protection. There were glass bottles, rocks as big as fists, pallets, fences and other objects strewn across the road and being used against the police.

“Whilst in the vehicle, a number of people attempted to gain entry to it, however the vehicle was bolted shut.

“I was aware of the smell of burning and CCTV reported that people were attempting to set the vehicle tyres alight, with me still in it, and so I began to prepare to decamp the vehicle.”

Police added an image of a man they want to identify to an online gallery of people they’d like to speak to over the March 21 incident. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police via Storyful