POLICE will ask prosecutors to consider charges against four people over the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.

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.

It was later recovered from the water by Bristol City Council and assessed to have suffered £3,750 worth of damage.

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

A 25-year-old man was arrested, with seven men and one woman asked to attend a police station for a voluntary interview.

Detectives will now approach the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a charging decision against four people – three men aged 32, 25 and 21, and a 29-year-old woman.

The remaining five people – men aged 18, 20, 29, 33 and 47 – have been offered a conditional caution for the offence of causing criminal damage to property valued under £5,000.

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “Those offered the conditional caution have been given a week to decide whether they want to accept it.

“Should any of them choose not to accept, officers will approach the CPS to seek a charging decision to be made.”

Under the conditions of the caution, the people must complete a questionnaire from a history commission set up by Bristol City Council.

They must each pay a fine of £100, which will be collected by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and sent to Nilaari, a Bristol-based charity supporting BAME communities.

“This is the maximum fine which can be issued as part of a conditional caution for this particular offence,” the force spokesman said.

The five must also take part in two hours of environmental improvement works arranged and supervised by Bristol City Council. This may include painting or removing rubbish and graffiti.