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

Statement about potential protests on Saturday 3 April

Image of the police crest

Plans are in place to facilitate a number of protests due to take place across the force area today, including in Bristol.

Following a change to COVID regulations, there is now an exemption to allow peaceful protests providing organisers take the required precautions to ensure people’s safety is not put at risk.

Superintendent Mark Runacres, area commander for Bristol, said: “We fully respect the fundamental democratic right of being able to protest and we have a long and proud history spanning many years of facilitating peaceful demonstrations.

“We’re aware of various events due to take place later today in Bristol, Bath, Taunton, Glastonbury and Bridgwater – and policing plans are in place.

“In Bristol, we will have specialist police liaison officers on the ground, along with Neighbourhood officers, and they’ll be looking to engage with protestors, working with them to ensure their protest takes place peacefully.

“While we’re expecting significant numbers to attend, we’d still urge people to consider finding alternative ways to express their views given that we’re still in the midst of the pandemic.

“Restrictions may have eased but large numbers of people congregating together at any one time continues to present a risk of spreading COVID-19.”