Details of probe into police conduct prior to fatal Cardiff crash revealed
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed details of its investigation into Monday’s fatal crash in Cardiff which sparked a riot.
Harvey Evans, 15, and his best friend Kyrees Sullivan, 16, died when the Sur-Ron bike they were riding crashed in the Ely area of Cardiff just after 6pm on Monday evening.
Their deaths sparked several hours of violence and disorder after word spread on social media that a marked police van had been pursuing the pair minutes before the crash.
Nine people between the ages of 15 and 21 were arrested following the disorder.
CCTV from the area has since confirmed police were following the teenagers despite South Wales police and crime commissioner Alun Michael dismissing it the following day as “rumour”.
The IOPC said it was investigating the nature of the police interaction with the two boys prior to the collision and the appropriateness of the police officers’ decisions and actions.
It will also consider whether at any time the decisions and actions of the officers in the police vehicle constituted a pursuit and whether the interaction between the police officers and the boys was reported appropriately by the officers prior to and following the collision.
Whether the actions and decisions of South Wales Police over the interaction were in line with legislation, local and national policies and procedures will also be reviewed.
In a statement, IOPC director David Ford said: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the family and friends of Kyrees and Harvey, as well as all those affected by the loss of two young lives in such a close-knit community as Ely.
“Our investigators have been conducting inquiries and securing evidence in the immediate vicinity of where the events took place, speaking to local residents, distributing leaflets and gathering as much relevant information as possible.
“I am truly grateful for the co-operation and assistance we have received from people within the local community. We would welcome anyone we haven’t yet spoken to yet, who believes they have footage or witnessed anything relevant between 5.35pm and 6.10pm on Monday, to come forward to us.
“We are working hard to establish the exact circumstances of what took place in the period leading up to the collision. I would like to reassure everyone in the community that our work will be thorough, impartial and independent of the police.”
On Friday evening, a vigil and balloon release will take place to pay tribute to the boys.
Earlier, politicians and community leaders met to discuss the aftermath of Monday’s tragedy.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “This week, two families are grieving for their sons and the people of Ely have experienced a collective trauma.
“My thoughts are with the families and friends of Harvey and Kyrees.
“Representatives of the local community and public agencies, including Action in Caerau and Ely, the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council today met in Ely.
“We have agreed to jointly sponsor a grassroots-led initiative to create a community plan for Ely, to respond to the long-term needs of residents. It will be focused on actions and outcomes for people in Ely.”
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