Police have released images of people they want to speak to as part of an investigation into criminal damage to the Edward Colston statue in Bristol.
The slave trader’s effigy was torn down and thrown into the harbour during an anti-racism protest earlier this month.
Avon and Somerset Police said it wanted the public to help identify 15 people.
Det Supt Liz Hughes said “in the eyes of the law” a crime had been committed and the force was “duty-bound to investigate without fear or favour”.
She added the incident attracted worldwide attention and there was “no denying it has polarised public opinion”.
“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.”
She added a “large amount” of footage and photographs of the incident, and CCTV footage from the area, had been examined, and 18 people had been isolated.
“We’ve carried out a number of enquiries to try and establish who these people are, in the hope we wouldn’t need to release their images into the public domain and have managed to identify a small number who we’re making arrangements with to get their account of events.
“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.”
She said some of the images were “not as clear as we’d like” and the fact some of the people were wearing masks further hindered their inquiry.
“But we’re confident someone will know them and be able to provide us with their name.”
The statue was pulled from its plinth in the city centre and rolled into the harbour at about 14:30 BST on 7 June during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.
It was later recovered from the water and is expected to be given a new home in a city museum.