Ely riots: South Wales Police double down on full timeline of events leading to fatal crash

  • ITV News report on the deaths of two teenage boys in Ely which sparked riots

South Wales Police have given a full timeline of events leading up to the death of two teenage boys, which sparked riots on Monday evening.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died in the Ely area of Cardiff while riding an electric bike.

The police watchdog is to investigate the fatal crash after CCTV footage emerged of a police vehicle following a bike prior to the incident.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has now given his first televised interview since the incident - during which he said he has "profound sorrow" for the two teens who died, as well as their family and friends.

Speaking at South Wales Police Headquarters in Bridgend, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon, said: "I am aware of concerns in the local community regarding the timeline of events which culminated in the fatal collision, including CCTV footage which shows a police vehicle following a bike in Frank Road.

  • South Wales Police providing an update on the Ely incident

"Therefore I want to confirm the timeline of events as we know them at this time. We would have liked to have provided this level of information yesterday, but this is a complex investigation and we had to be sure of the facts before confirming them.

"We have been busy obtaining witness accounts, analysing tracking data from police vehicles and studying CCTV, and this is what we know now:

17:49 - CCTV shows the bike travelling towards the police vehicle in Frank Road. The bike then turns around.

18:00:52 - The bike is followed by the police vehicle, which you have already seen on CCTV images. Neither blue lights or sirens were in use.

Tributes have been left in Ely to Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans

18:01:18 - Police vehicle is at New Ely Church Roundabout and travels through Archer Road, Stanway Road and Howell Road.

18:02:31 - Police vehicle turns onto Grand Avenue.

18:02:18 to 18:02:41 - This is the approximate time of the road traffic collision on Snowden Road. At the time of the collision, police vehicle is in Grand Avenue, half a mile away from Snowden Road.

18:06:59 - The police vehicle is on Cowbridge Road West when it receives information about a road traffic collision. Officers illuminate blue lights and make their way to the collision scene.

The families of Harvey Evans (right) and Kyrees Sullivan (left) said the pair were 'best friends'.

She added: "There was no police vehicle in Snowden Road at the time of the collision and we believe there were no other vehicles involved in the incident.

"We have based this on witness accounts, tracking data and CCTV. We have made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure the matter receives independent scrutiny. We will provide them with all the information we have, and they will undertake an independent investigation."

Taking questions from the press about the response of the police, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon said: “We’re absolutely passionate about protecting the people of Ely, we have a dedicated neighbourhood policing team. We want to reach out to them, we want to work with them.

“It didn’t go as any of us would have wanted on the night of the incident. It is a tragic outcome that two young men have died and we want to understand why.

“The situation that occurred afterwards in terms of people’s behaviour is totally unacceptable and I absolutely know, as well as you do, that the people of Ely condemn that, that they don’t want that to be happening in their neighbourhood, and neither do we.

“We will work tirelessly with them to understand what we can do to support them going forward.”

Before ending the press conference, Ms Bacon confirmed no police officers have been questioned under caution since the disorder in Ely.

Meanwhile the police watchdog, the IOPC, has said its investigation still remains underway into the contact officers had with the two teenagers shortly before their death.

It has said that South Wales Police will be responsible for the collision investigation, its independent investigation will 'scrutinise the actions and decision-making of police involved in this incident.'

IOPC Director for Wales David Ford: “This was a tragic incident in which two boys lost their lives. We would like to once again express our sympathies to their families and friends, as well as all those affected by their deaths.

“We are not the police and our investigations are independent of the police. Our role is now to speak to members of the community and gather evidence, including CCTV and witness statements, to understand the circumstances leading up to the collision.

“This incident has had a profound impact on the local community and it is vitally important that the facts are established through a thorough and impartial investigation.

“Our investigative and community engagement work in the local area will continue for some time to come. Further updates will be provided as our investigation progresses.

“Upon conclusion of the investigation we will determine whether there is any indication that anyone serving with the police may have breached the standards of professional behaviour.”

The press conference earlier comes after police released a heartbreaking tribute from the families of "best friends" Kyrees and Harvey.

Violence erupted in the community following claims police chased the teenagers before they crashed, which saw cars set alight, fireworks thrown at police and 15 officers injured.

Mr Drakeford said he has 'profound sorrow for the two young lives lost' and their loved ones. Credit: PA

Speaking in his first broadcast interview since the incident, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he feels "profound sorrow" for the two teens killed on Monday, as well as the wider Ely community, "full of utterly decent, hardworking people".

He added people must wait for South Wales Police to be investigated before making a judgment.

He said: "My main thought was one of just profound sorrow, profound sorrow for two young lives that have been lost, and their families and their friends."

Mr Drakeford added: "There are questions for police to answer, we know they have referred themselves to the independent investigation service, we must allow that to do its job.

"Then, I think we will have the full facts available and people will then be able to make a rounded judgment about the way the police responded to the events on Monday evening.”

When asked about Mr Michael’s relationship with South Wales Police, Mr Drakeford defended the Police and Crime Commissioner.

He said: “I think he was relying on the information he had been provided by the police.

“He was entitled to do that but anybody who has followed Alun’s career as police and crime commissioner will know that he is perfectly capable of challenging the police when he thinks that is needed, and he is equally passionate about supporting the police when he knows that those people we rely on every day when things go wrong need that support.”

Responding to a question about Mr Michael’s future in his role, Mr Drakeford said: “I think that is to trivialise the reaction to these tragic events.

"I’m very determined not to turn anything that happened in Ely into a political football involving individuals.

"There are families that are grieving, there is an estate that needs time to recover, our thoughts should be with them and what we can do for them, not trying to turn this into some dispute about individuals and personalities.”

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