Kill The Bill: Avon and Somerset Police reveal cost of damage during protest in Bristol
Dozens of police officers and protesters were injured during clashes in March last year
and live on Freeview channel 276
Avon and Somerset Police has revealed the cost of policing the Kill The Bill demonstrations, including the damage to a police station and vehicles, in response to a Freedom of Information Request.
Thousands of campaigners took to the streets of Bristol to rally against the controversial Government bill, which they condemned as an attack on their right to protest, before scenes turned violent on March 21 last year.
Dozens of police officers and protesters were injured around Bridewell Police Station, while several police vehicles were damaged, including two which were on fire.
Glass windows at the city centre police station were also broken.
Now, almost a year on, Avon and Somerset Police have now revealed the cost of policing the operation as a whole - £760,151.02.
Included in that figure was the cost of damages to buildings and vehicles during the incident - £224,099.35.
The amount, however, does not include police officer duty and overtime costs, legal costs or the costs of the subsequent investigation into what happened.
Responding to the figures, Detective Superintendent James Riccio said: “More than 100 people were involved in the despicable scenes of violence and disorder outside Bridewell Police Station on March 21 last year.
“Forty four officers were assaulted during the incident, some were struck with missiles, others were spat on while some were even punched and kicked while defenceless on the ground.
“Multiple police vehicles were damaged, including two which were completely destroyed after being set on fire, while the front window of the police station was also smashed.
“It took several hours for police to regain control of the streets with the help of additional resources which had been called in from neighbouring forces.”
To date, 85 people have been arrested and 42 people have been charged – 38 of which with rioting.
Thirteen of those charged have been jailed for a combined total of 51 years and eight months.
They included 25-year-old Ryan Roberts, of no fixed address, who was jailed for 14 years in December after being convicted of five offences; riot, attempted arson with intent to endanger life, attempted arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered and two counts of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.
During his sentencing at Bristol Crown Court, people protested against his conviction and the policing bill.