...By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
A police watchdog has provided an update on its investigation into the police interaction with two teenagers, Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans, prior to their tragic deaths in a collision in Ely, Cardiff.
Following the incident, nine individuals between the ages of 15 and 21 were arrested in connection with the disorder.
Recently obtained CCTV footage has confirmed that the police were indeed following the teenagers, despite initial dismissal of such claims by South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael.
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Investigation
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an investigation after receiving a referral from South Wales Police.
The referral was prompted by CCTV footage showing a marked police van trailing the boys’ electric bike in a nearby street just before the collision on May 22.
The IOPC has been conducting thorough investigations, including house-to-house enquiries, gathering information from local residents, reviewing CCTV footage, and examining initial accounts from the involved police officers.
Areas of Investigation Outlined by the IOPC
In their statement, the IOPC outlined the key aspects they are investigating:
1. The nature of the police interaction with the two boys prior to the collision and the appropriateness of the decisions and actions taken by the police officers.
2. Whether the decisions and actions of the officers in the police vehicle constituted a pursuit at any point.
3. Whether the interaction between the police officers and the boys was reported appropriately before and after the collision.
4. Whether the actions and decisions of South Wales Police in regard to the interaction were in compliance with legislation, local and national policies, and procedures.
Sympathies and Community Cooperation
The IOPC Director, David Ford, expressed condolences to the family and friends of Kyrees and Harvey, as well as to the Ely community affected by this tragic loss.
Investigators have been actively engaging with local residents, distributing leaflets, and securing evidence in the immediate vicinity of the incident.
The cooperation and assistance from the community have been greatly appreciated.
The IOPC encourages anyone who may have relevant footage or witnessed anything between 5:35 pm and 6:10 pm on Monday to come forward.
First Minister’s Meeting and Planned Vigil
As part of community support initiatives, First Minister Mark Drakeford hosted a meeting that brought together community representatives and public agencies to discuss assistance for the Ely community.
The meeting commenced with a moment of silent reflection for the family and friends affected.
Furthermore, a vigil and balloon release are scheduled to take place on Friday evening.
Information for Reporting and Contacting the IOPC
Individuals with relevant information or footage are urged to contact the IOPC through the incident line number: 0300 3030771 or via email at SnowdenRoad@policeconduct.gov.uk.
The IOPC assures the community that their investigation will be thorough, impartial, and independent of the police.