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Police arrest 14 as latest ‘Kill the Bill’ protest concludes in Bristol

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Fourteen people have been arrested as police wound up a demonstration in Bristol just two days after another protest which descended into rioting in the city.

Specially trained public order officers from Avon and Somerset Police British Transport Police Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Welsh forces were deployed on Tuesday night to College Green, where police said around 130 people had gathered earlier in the evening.

Avon and Somerset Police tweeted at about 2.40am that the protest “has now concluded after officers enforced Covid-19 legislation”.

It was the latest “Kill the Bill” protest in the city against the Government’s Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will see the police handed new powers to tackle demonstrations.

Shortly before 11pm, police said protesters had been moved off College Green but that a “significant number” remained on Deanery Road “and continue to refuse to leave the area”.

The force tweeted: “Officers will take proportionate action to disperse crowds. They are not containing anyone and we continue to urge people to move on.”

About 90 minutes later, police reminded the public that gatherings were not permitted, adding that demonstrators “risk spreading the virus further”.

A later statement said 14 people were arrested for offences including breaches of Covid-19 legislation and obstruction of a highway, with one arrest in connection Sunday’s violent disorder.

Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said: “Officers had engaged with protestors and asked them to disperse, but tents and a sound system were set up so it was abundantly clear they were intent on remaining at the location, in spite of legislation in place to protect public health.

“After the scenes of violence witnessed in the city at the weekend it was necessary to bring in additional resources from our neighbouring forces to ensure the protest was safely brought to a swift conclusion.

“Throughout the operation officers continued to urge protestors to move on – at no time were they contained – but there came a time when enforcement was necessary as gatherings are still not permitted.”

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