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Witness appeal and update on our review after alleged assault on child on Bristol riverside

*Update at the top issued on 12-05-2022*

We’re aware of a new video being circulated on social media relating to the incident in which a 12-year-old boy was allegedly assaulted on a Bristol riverside.

This new video has been passed to the reviewing officers and they will examine it in detail.

Our ongoing review will be thorough and comprehensive, and as such will take a bit of time to complete, but we can confirm that we’re preparing a file of evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service.

We are listening deeply to people’s concerns and completely understand the strength of feeling this incident has generated. We want our communities to have full confidence in this review process and we’ll be doing all we can to achieve this.

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We’re re-appealing for witnesses as part of our ongoing review into an alleged assault on a 12-year-old child on a Bristol riverside.

Officers were called to a report that a woman had struck a child near Conham River Park at about 3pm on Saturday 26 March.

An initial investigation was carried out, which included statements being taken from the child and an adult family friend and a woman being arrested, and later de-arrested, before being interviewed at a police station. The initial outcome was that no further action would be taken, based on evidence gathered at the time.

A review was immediately launched after senior officers became aware of the decision to close this case with no further action being taken, following public concern.

Bristol commander Superintendent Mark Runacres, along with Chief Inspector Mike Buck and a community leader, met with the injured boy’s father yesterday to explain what actions had been taken so far and to give him further details about what the review will look like.

Ch Insp Mike Buck said: “We’re extremely grateful to the boy’s father for agreeing to meet with us and we had a constructive conversation in which we answered his questions and give him assurances about this review and what it means.

“We have complete empathy with his family and listened carefully to what he had to say. We gave him a full commitment to carrying out a comprehensive and thorough review and to keep him updated about its progress.

“We’ve re-classified this incident as being racially motivated and we have a Detective Sergeant leading the review, with oversight from a senior officer.

“The review will include identifying and taking statements from as many people who witnessed this incident as possible, locating and viewing all available footage, re-examining 999 calls made to the emergency services, compiling medical evidence and liaising with relevant partner agencies,.

“There will be learnings coming out of this incident, for example we’ve already identified the family should have been offered a right to review following the initial decision not to take any further action, and we have said sorry for that.

“It’s only right and proper we are scrutinised on the decisions we take and I want to reassure our communities that we are listening and we are taking action to re-examine all aspects of this incident, as well as how the initial investigation was carried out.

“We will learn from this and the decisions we take will be subject to even further scrutiny so our communities can have full confidence in the outcome.”

We’re re-appealing for further witnesses to come forward as we know a number of people were in that area of the riverside that afternoon.

We’re keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the original incident, or who may have phone or other footage which could help. Please call 101 and give the reference 5222071897.