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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Five charged following Bristol anti-lockdown protest

Image of a court building and the word charged

Enquiries into the anti-lockdown protest in Bristol on Saturday are continuing today.

Around 400 people took part in the Stand Up Bristol demonstration which under current coronavirus restrictions was prohibited.

Police had warned organisers multiple times the event wasn’t allowed and of the risks it presented of increasing the spread of COVID-19.

Thirteen people were arrested throughout the day which saw police deploy a range of resources including specially trained public order teams, the mounted unit, the dog section and the police drone.

Four men and one woman have since been charged with offences including participating in a gathering of more than two people and failing to comply with the directions of officers. They are due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on 7 January.

Four men have been released on conditional bail, three men have been released under investigation to allow further enquiries to take place while another man has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

As part of our continuing investigation, officers are reviewing a large amount of digital evidence including CCTV, body worn camera footage and other recordings of the event.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “I am proud of the way that my officers responded to this protest.

“In the face of violence and intimidation they conducted themselves with restraint, courage and professionalism. They are the best of us.

“These protestors are nothing short of disgrace, from the criminally misguided to the plain stupid.

“Whilst the majority of our communities do their best to support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic, and our NHS and other essential workers make sacrifices to keep our society going and save lives, these selfish idiots are an embarrassment to Bristol.”