Police reveal £666k cost of dealing with Stokes Croft riots, Bristol
THE Stokes Croft riots in April cost more than £666,000 to police.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, Avon and Somerset Police revealed that the force incurred costs of £464,095, and said that other forces who were drafted in to assist have submitted invoices stacking up to £202,000.
The streets in the area of Cheltenham Road and Stokes Croft were the scene of running battles with police on the nights of April 21, 22 and 28.
On the first night, police entered a squat, known as Telepathic Heights, acting on information that petrol bombs were being made in the premises.
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A large crowd gathered as police sealed off the road to traffic and a number of violent clashes ensued, lasting long into the night.
Trouble continued the next night, centring on the new Tesco Express store in the road.
Bins and skips were set alight and the store was attacked and damaged, along with others in the area.
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 from Avon and Somerset, including one inspector who had his arm broken.
A member of Gwent police – one of the forces called in to help tackle the riots – was badly injured when a concrete block was dropped on him from the roof of Tesco. It is understood that protesters and innocent bystanders were also injured during the disturbances.
Another protest that started peacefully but turned violent took place in the early hours of April 29.
John Long, Assistant Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, pictured, said the force was used to dealing with emergencies which "call for the unexpected" and provisions were made to fund that sort of policing work.
"To put it into context, the cost of the policing of the disorders at Stokes Croft comes to just over 1 per cent of the entire budget for Bristol for a whole year's policing," he added.
The figures reveal that Gloucestershire Police invoiced the force for £28,797, Wiltshire Police for £30,597, Gwent Police for £28,869, West Mercia Police for £24,254, and West Midlands Police for £35,036.
The Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Thames Valley and Dyfed Powys forces have also claimed. Invoices have not yet been received from Dorset and South Wales police forces.
There was more trouble in the area in August after rioting in London spread to other cities. It is not currently known how much that month's riots cost the force.