Those responsible for torching police vehicles with officers still inside should be charged with attempted murder, Avon and Somerset Police Federation chairman has said.
The Constabulary continued on Tuesday what it has described as one of the largest searches for suspects in the force’s history as it seeks to identify those who injured 21 officers, set alight police vehicles and caused destruction to the city of Bristol on Sunday night.
The local police federation chairman, Andy Roebuck confirmed that police officers were fearing for their lives as rioters set fire to police vans while officers were still inside.
“They tried to set fire to a police van with officers inside. To my mind that is attempted murder,” said Mr Roebuck.
“When the protesters started to disperse, the feral criminals took the opportunity to hijack the protest. Officers said they felt they were going to be killed, such was the level of violence. You look into their eyes and hear how their voices were cracking – they were in fear for their lives.”
Footage showed fireworks being launched in the streets, police vans on fire and even protestors defecating at the feet of police officers during the disgraceful riot.
Two officers were hospitalised, one with a punctured lung and broken ribs after being repeatedly stamped on by far-left thugs.
Det Chief Supt Carolyn Belafonte expressed her gratitude for the “outpouring of support and kindess that we’ve received from the public, as well as from organisations and agencies across the city.”
The force is undertaking a review of the “enourmous amount of digital evidence” and has carried out a “full forensic examination of the scene” obtaining fingerprints which will be used to help identify the perpetrators.
“This will be a lengthy investigation but we’re wholly committed to tracking down all those who engaged in the wanton disorder yesterday”, added Ms Belaftone.
“To those who took part in this spree of offending, you can expect a knock at your door in the days or weeks to come – it may come sooner than you think.”