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Former South Wales PCC declines to say he ‘regrets’ comments on Cardiff riots

14 May 2024 3 minute read
A car on fire in Ely during the rioting in May 2023. Photo Bronwen Weatherby/PA Wire

The former Labour Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales (PCC) has declined to say he “regrets” comments he made in the aftermath of rioting in Cardiff in May 2023.

Harvey Evans, 15, and his best friend Kyrees Sullivan, 16, died on 22 May when the Sur-Ron bike they were riding crashed in Ely.

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 and 15 police officers were injured.

CCTV from the area confirmed police were following the teenagers despite South Wales PCC Alun Michael dismissing it the following day as “rumour”.

The police later confirmed that officers were following the two boys.

Challenging events

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Breakfast this morning (14 May) Mr Michael said his comments were made during “very difficult, challenging events.”

When asked whether he regrets his initial comments by presenter Dot Davies, Mr Michael said: “I said that the police had not been chasing the boys at the time the action. That’s actually the case.”

“The whole matter of how the events of that day played out is being looked at by the Independent Office of Police Conduct.”

“What I did on the day was to try to give information to the wider public in a way that was immediate.”

“It’s important that is done at the time and that the public understand what is happening.”

“Those were very, very difficult, challenging events.”


The Independent Office for Police Conduct, opened an investigation into the behaviour of the officers involved in the incident that sparked the disorder.

The probe investigated 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 also considered 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 were also reviewed.

An action plan was also commissioned, aimed at addressing the concerns of local residents and improving the lives of people in the area.

The details of the plan will be revealed later today when it is presented to Cardiff Council.

Mr Michael says the report is important to address challenges in the community.

“Ely is a very warm, strong community which has its challenges, and those challenges are being addressed in the long term plan that’s being published later today.”

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8 days ago

Mr Michael sitting on a painful fence. His weasel words – .”…Ely is a very warm, strong community which has its challenges, and those challenges are being addressed in the long term plan that’s being published later today.” – just highlight Labour’s cynical stance towards that part of the city. It’s been on its knees for decades and any attempt at remedial campaigns have been limp wristed, half hearted P.R exercises. Cops were right to pursue young people who were suspected of wrongdoing. It ended badly and instead of telling it as it was, the demented P.R machine got rolled… Read more »

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
8 days ago

If you listen to the youth of the area – there is nothing to do there. This is a problem not just for Ely but for many neighbourhoods, the closure of facilities for young people. In the area there have been cut backs to services in general for years – it’s definitely worse than when I lived there as a kid. Ely needs investment if the poverty there is to be addressed.

Karen Lewis
Karen Lewis
7 days ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

The amount of times we hear that they don’t behave because there’s nothing to do. Nonsense. When I grew up there was actually nothing to do. You had a ball or a skipping rope perhaps a bike. No clubs at all but a clip around the ear from someone if you did wrong and trouble when your parents found out. Strick bedtimes and mealtimes. It’s called discipline.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
5 days ago
Reply to  Karen Lewis

Well, it’s not me saying this – it’s the youth of Ely. The current generation are not the same as your and my generation. Firstly, and speaking from what I’ve seen, yes, I went out on my bike as a kid but there were other amenities out there too that are just not there now. Secondly, our society has become more safety conscious, fear of our children’s safety outside from predators and excessive traffic means most children are not playing in the street anymore – they are not allowed too. There’s your discipline.

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