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Five offered restorative justice over damage to Colston statue

UK News | Published:

The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest.

Five people interviewed over the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol will be offered conditional cautions, a chief constable has said.

The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, before being dumped in Bristol Harbour.

No arrests were made at the time but officers reviewed CCTV footage and other pictures and video to identify 18 people they wanted to speak to.

“The law was broken, it was an act of criminal damage,” the chief constable told BBC Radio Bristol on Thursday.

“Fortunately, as far as I’m concerned, it was one crime, one act of damage in an event that carried a significant amount of risk for Bristol and the community.

“We’ve rolled our sleeves up, got on with the investigation. We’ve now interviewed nine people.

“One of them has been arrested, the other eight have voluntarily attended.

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Edward Colston statue
The statue of slave trader Edward Colston, is removed from Bristol Harbour (Bristol City Council/PA)

“We’ve offered the lawyers for the other five the opportunity for restorative justice.

“We propose they will pay a fine and do some acts to make good their crime.

“If they refuse to take that, and they’ll have a week to make their mind up, then they will be added to the four that are going to the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Police previously said that a 24-year-old man from Eastleigh, Hampshire, had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Officers also arrested a 27-year-old man, who was later released with no further action taken.

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