Ely riots: First Minister to chair community meeting after teenagers' death sparked riot

The First Minister will chair the meeting before a planned vigil for the teenage boys. Credit: PA Images

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has begun chairing a meeting between public officials and community representatives in Ely after the deaths of two teenagers sparked a riot.

Harvey Evans, 15, died alongside his best friend Kyrees Sullivan, 16, when the electric bike they were riding crashed in the Ely area of the city just after 6pm on Monday.

The session started with everyone marking a moment of reflection for the family and friends of the teenagers.

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".

Harvey Evans, left, and Kyrees Sullivan Credit: Family handouts/PA

In response to the events, Mr Drakeford will chair a meeting on Friday between local politicians, agencies, and community groups including ACE (Action in Caerau and Ely).

He will be joined by Social Justice minister Jane Hutt, as well as Kevin Brennan MP, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael, Ely councillor Russell Goodway and Councillor Huw Thomas and Cardiff Council leader Paul Orders.

Later in the day, a vigil and balloon release has been planned to pay tribute to the boys.

In a Facebook post, a friend of the families said: "We know tensions are still high right now. But we ask if tomorrow night for the balloon release people can keep their anger inside.

"The mums asked if no Su-Rons (electric bikes) can be seen around out of respect and tomorrow night let us all come together for the love and life that they had here with us."

Police said they are continuing to investigate both the crash and the riot which followed.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into "any interaction" between the South Wales force and the teenagers prior to the crash.

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