Police release pictures of 15 people after slave trader statue was pulled down
Credit: Avon and Somerset Police
The police have released pictures of 15 people they want to speak to about the toppling of a statue in Bristol.
The monument to slave trader Edward Colston was dragged from its plinth and thrown into the harbour.
Avon and Somerset police chiefs decided not to intervene during the Black Lives Matter demonstration.
But a criminal investigation started hours later.
The police have identified 18 people they want to talk to about the toppling.
They have released pictures of 15 of them.
Detective Superintendent Liz Hughes said:
“The incident attracted worldwide attention and there’s no denying it has polarised public opinion.
“But in the eyes of the law a crime has been committed and we’re duty-bound to investigate this without fear or favour.
“I’d like to reassure people we’re carrying out a thorough, fair and proportionate investigation and have sought early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Det Supt Hughes said a “large amount” of images shown online and on social media had been looked at by investigating officers.
All the local CCTV has also been examined.
Det Supt Hughes said: “We’ve made a small handful of identifications and we’ve spoken to some of those individuals.
“They will be coming in for voluntary interviews in the coming days.
“However, despite every effort being made to identify the remaining people we’d like to talk to, we still don’t know who they are which is why we’re now releasing images of them in the hope the public can help.
“Some of the images are not as clear as we’d like, and some of those we want to identify are wearing masks but we’re confident someone will know them and be able to provide us with their name.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the force on 101, supplying the reference number 5220123926, or anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers.