Police have arrested eight people following weekend protests in England’s Bristol city over a new police bill that turned violent.
Avon and Somerset Police said on Monday that six arrests were for violent disorder, while two were for possession of an offensive weapon during the protest, which began peacefully on Sunday, reports dpa news agency.
Politicians and the force’s chief constable condemned the violence after 21 officers were assaulted or injured, with two being taken to hospital after suffering broken bones. One also had a punctured lung.
Images and footage from the scene showed anti-police graffiti on buildings and a police van set on fire.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said the “wanton violence and destruction” had nothing to do with protest itself, but instead was undertaken “by those looking for an excuse to commit disorder”.
More than 100 officers and staff from Avon and Somerset Police are working on the case, which is being led by the force’s major crime investigation team.
The force is expecting to make more arrests as the investigation continues.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the violence as “completely unacceptable”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel also described the scenes as “unacceptable” and said “thuggery and disorder” would never be tolerated during questioning in Parliament.
The new bill is currently making its way through British parliament that could see the police being given more powers during protests.
The proposed law foresees a new offence of “intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance”, which could see people facing jail time or a fine if found guilty.