After the Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol last year, the Chief Constable gave an excellent statement explaining why the police did not intervene to stop the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston. I criticised the Home Secretary at the time for taking the unprecedented step of calling the Chief Constable and demanding an explanation. (
I’m pleased to see that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services has, in the Government-ordered report on the policing of the protest, given its backing to the force over the policing decisions made that day.
Although I cannot endorse criminal damage, this incident triggered much-needed conversations about the legacies of empire and slavery and had a global impact, affecting much more than just how we commemorate Colston in Bristol. I am glad that the Home Secretary’s attempts to play party politics over this have, quite rightly, been described as “misjudged” in the report.
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