Police watchdog to assess whether to launch probe into Cardiff deaths crash

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, were killed in the Ely area on Monday while riding an electric bike.

PA Reporters
Tuesday 23 May 2023 20:32 BST
Council workers secure the area immediately around a car that was set alight in Ely, Cardiff (PA)
Council workers secure the area immediately around a car that was set alight in Ely, Cardiff (PA) (PA Wire)

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The police watchdog has announced it will send investigators to assess whether it will carry out an independent probe into a crash in Cardiff which killed two teenagers and sparked a riot.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, were killed in the Ely area on Monday while riding an electric bike.

Chief Superintendent of South Wales Police Martyn Stone told a press conference in Cardiff on Tuesday that a “mandatory referral” had been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following the disorder to “ensure the matter receives independent scrutiny”.

A spokesperson from the watchdog said: “We have been contacted this afternoon by South Wales Police to make a referral regarding the circumstances leading up to the fatal collision in Ely yesterday (Monday).

“We will be sending investigators to a police post incident procedure to begin gathering information and to assess whether the IOPC will carry out an independent investigation.”

Mr Stone said the force had received CCTV footage that shows a police vehicle following a bike ahead of the collision, but insisted that there were no police vehicles on Snowden Road when the crash occurred.

His statement followed the footage emerging online after South Wales Police said the crash happened before officers attended the scene.

Alun Michael, South Wales police and crime commissioner, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier on Tuesday that police had not chased the pair.

He said: “It would appear that there were rumours, and those rumours became rife, of a police chase, which wasn’t the case.”

Dozens of young people were gathered near hundreds of floral tributes on Snowden Road on Tuesday night.

The mood in the area was calm.

But on Monday, tensions reached breaking point after officers were called to the scene shortly after 6pm.

Some residents in the district claimed the two boys, who were named locally, were being pursued by South Wales Police – an allegation that was earlier denied by the force.

Police said the collision had already occurred when officers arrived, and they remained on the scene to manage “large-scale disorder” until the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mr Stone confirmed while speaking to the press that 15 police officers had required medical attention following the disorder – 11 went to hospital and four were treated at the scene.

The chief superintendent said arrests had been made and more would follow.

“I would like to acknowledge the impact last night’s disorder had on local residents, who are understandably very frightened,” he told the press conference.

“They have our assurances that we will be doing our best to arrest all of those responsible. A number of arrests have already been made and more will follow.”

At around midnight, Belinda Sullivan, Kyrees’s mother, pleaded on Facebook with the rioters to stop because her son’s body remained at the scene of the collision.

Friends of the two boys, who were from the Ely area, said they were riding a Sur-Ron electric bike without helmets when they died.

Tributes were paid to the two teenagers, with one local resident, Bridy Bool, calling Harvey a “sociable” boy with “loads of friends” who loved motorbikes and football.

She added that he was best friends with Kyrees, who was “into the same things”.

Specially-trained public order officers were deployed, including officers from neighbouring police forces, as several vehicles were set alight, property was damaged and officers were injured.

Scenes being livestreamed on YouTube showed young people throwing fireworks and other missiles at a line of police officers with riot shields who were blocking one end of the street.

Shortly before midnight a car was set on fire and burned fiercely while a second vehicle was overturned and also torched.

One person was attacked because rioters thought they were an undercover officer, according to a senior officer at the scene.

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