Net closes on Bristol rioters thanks to your help

THE net is closing in on the 37 thugs involved in the Stokes Croft riots who featured on the front page of the Evening Post earlier this month.

Avon and Somerset say they received a good response from the public after the images were published and have identified ten people – with arrests imminent.

The 37 photos are of people police say committed some of the “most serious” offences.

The mugshots were released alongside footage showing the terrifying ferocity of the riots.

Rioters, most with hoods up or covering their faces, are seen hurling large chunks of masonry and bottles at officers.

Detective Chief Inspector Will White, who is leading the operation tracking down the offenders, said: “We are very pleased with how the investigation is going so far.

“I would like to thank those members of the public who have already been in touch to help us with our enquiries. We are continuing to pursue anyone involved in either of the violent disorders – you will be brought to justice.”

So far 53 people have been arrested in connection with the riots and of those 23 have been charged in relation to burglary and violent disorder.

The two riots last month threw the community of Stokes Croft into disarray, with rioters damaging local businesses and buildings, lighting fires and frightening residents.

It is understood rioters caused £100,000 of damage to Tesco Express and surrounding properties, including family business Fred Baker Cycles in Cheltenham Road.

In total 46 officers were injured 42 of them from Avon and Somerset including one inspector who had his arm broken.

A member of Gwent police – one of three forces called in to help police the riots – was badly injured when a block of concrete was dropped on him from the roof of Tesco.

It is understood that protesters and innocent bystanders were also injured during the disturbances.

The first riot began after about 160 officers raided the squat known as Telepathic Heights because police had received intelligence that people inside were planning to petrol bomb Tesco Express.

About 300 demonstrators were embroiled in running battles with police on April 21 and 22.

The second protest took place in Stokes Croft a week later.

It started peacefully, but turned violent, with officers injured after rocks and missiles were thrown by some of the 400 protesters.

As reported in the Post last week, the Tesco shop damaged in last month’s riots reopened on May 2 and there were more than 400 customers on the first day.

Sam Allen, one of the people behind the No Tesco in Stokes Croft campaign, said at the time that, by reopening, Tesco was continuing “to ignore a large majority of the community.”

She also said there were no “definite” plans to protest now the store had reopened.

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