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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

“These people were not protesting a cause. They were thugs intent on causing damage and hurting our brave colleagues”

30 July 2021

Statement from Tony Henley, Secretary of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, after five people were jailed for their roles in the Bristol riot in March, in which police officers feared for their lives.

Tony said “44 police officers were assaulted that night. It pains us to say some officers thought they would die in the violence and we are fortunate that the physical injuries were not worse than they were.

“Officers were struck, spat on, kicked and punched - some whilst defenceless on the ground. Let that sink in. It’s utterly disgusting – they do not deserve to be treated that way.”

Tony added: “Our brave colleagues – who let’s please remember are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, partners, sons and daughters - simply don’t go to work to face such violence. They go to work to keep people safe. They should be going home to their families at the end of their shifts.

“They should not fear for their lives. Or face being rushed to hospital.

“Many colleagues will never forget what happened that horrific night. Not only are they still affected but so are their families and we are supporting them all as best as we can.”

Tony concluded: “At this time, we would also like to pay credit to our colleagues involved in this part of the investigation. They should be proud of their work.”