We’re appealing for the public’s help to identify a number of people we’d like to speak to as part of our investigation into the criminal damage caused to the statue of Edward Colston.
The statue was pulled from its plinth and rolled into Bristol harbour at around 2.30pm on Sunday, 7 June during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Detective Superintendent Liz Hughes said: “The incident attracted worldwide attention and there’s no denying it has polarised public opinion – but in the eyes of the law a crime has been committed and we’re duty-bound to investigate this without fear or favour.
“I’d like to reassure people we’re carrying out a thorough, fair and proportionate investigation and have sought early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.”
She added: “A significant number of enquiries have already been carried out including the examination of the large amount of footage and photographs which have circulated online and on social media, as well as footage from the network of CCTV cameras in and around the city centre and Harbourside.
“As a result of those enquiries, we’ve isolated images of 18 people we want to speak to.
“We’ve carried out a number of enquiries to try and establish who these people are in the hope we wouldn’t need to release their images into the public domain and have managed to identify a small number who we’re making arrangements with to get their account of events.
“However, despite every effort being made to identify the remaining people we’d like to talk to, we still don’t know who they are which is why we’re now releasing images of them in the hope the public can help.
“Some of the images are not as clear as we’d like, and some of those we want to identify are wearing masks but we’re confident someone will know them and be able to provide us with their name.”
Anyone who has information which can help us identify any of the people in the images is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5220123926.