UK protest clashes leave 20 police injured

·1-min read

A protest in the English city of Bristol against new policing legislation has turned into violent clashes that left at least 20 officers injured - two of them seriously - widespread damage to a police station and police vehicles torched.

Seven people were arrested during the protest, which started Sunday afternoon and ran through to the early hours of Monday morning. Police said the number of arrests would likely increase in coming days as officers studied closed-circuit television footage.

The violence, which also saw several police vehicles damaged, was branded as "unacceptable" by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

"Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated," she said.

What started as a peaceful demonstration of about 3000 people in the heart of the city turned violent after hundreds of protesters descended on a police station.

The protesters were ostensibly venting their anger at the government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is currently going through parliament. Under the terms of the legislation, which covers England and Wales, police will be handed new powers to tackle demonstrations.

Sue Mountstevens, police and crime commissioner for the Avon and Somerset region, said seven people have been arrested but "many more" would be detained.