Reinforcements arrive as cops hospitalised during night of violent rioting

Police have blocked the M32 in a bid to prevent people from entering Bristol city centre after a night of violent rioting.

Protesters against the Government's controversial Police and Crime Bill took to the streets at 2pm on Sunday, but as the hours followed, horrific scenes unfolded.

Thousands gathered before a large group started to march towards Broadmead, with officers having a firework thrown at them and the police station windows being smashed with a skateboard.

The event, dubbed 'Kill the Bill', was an attempt to stop the Govt's proposed law which could give police and the Home Secretary increased powers to stop protests.

The city was 'under seige', according to witnesses, with 999 services dispatched to deal with fires and people injured after violence broke out, writes BristolLive.

Reinforcements from Avon and Somerset Police raced down late on Sunday to help local cops combat the disorder.

A police car was torched, and rioters were using scaffolding and fences from nearby constructing sites to push back against police lines.

  • Bristol police station 'under siege' as 'Kill the Bill' rioters set fire to van

A helicopter has been circling the city centre for several hours, with officers guarding firefighters as they deal with sporadic blazes set by roaming protesters.

While riot vans have been graffitied and vandalised, there are reports two cop cars were torched and set fully alight after being abandoned.

Two officers were sent to hospital, one with a broken arm and the other broken ribs.

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Avon and Somerset police described it as 'significant disorder', and Chief Supt Will White condemned the scenes as 'absolutely disgraceful'.

"What started out as a peaceful protest has been turned by a small minority into a violent disorder," he said.

"These scenes are absolutely disgraceful and they will be widely condemned by people across the city. There can never be any excuse for wanton disorder.

"Officers have been subjected to considerable levels of abuse and violence. One suffered a broken arm and another suffered broken ribs. Both have been taken to hospital. These are men and women out there with the intention of serving and protecting the public – they should never be subjected to assaults or abuse in this way," he added.

"At least two police vehicles have been set on fire and damage has been caused to the outside of the station. Protesters are not inside the building."

Local MPs have condemned the violence, with Thangam Debbonaire, MP of Bristol West, saying: "This is absolutely unacceptable.

"The scenes of violence and a direct attack on the police in Bristol city centre will distress most people including anyone who believes in defending the right to peaceful democratic protest," she added.

The Mayor of Bristol, Martin Reevs, said it was 'unacceptable', and the violence that unfolded may have helped the cause of proposing the Govt bill.

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