Cardiff riots: Police assess CCTV footage of van following electric bike

  • By Daniele Palumbo and Paul Pigott
  • BBC Verify and BBC News

Video caption,

Watch: CCTV appears to show police following people minutes before crash

Police are looking at CCTV footage showing a police van following two people on an electric bike minutes before a fatal crash that sparked a riot in Cardiff.

The video analysed by BBC Verify is time-stamped to 17:59 BST on Monday on Frank Road in Ely 900m, or just over half a mile, from the site of the suspected crash.

But South Wales Police said there were no police vehicles on Snowden Road – where the crash was – at the time it happened.

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Why were we not told that this morning? – Reporters confront police

“We have received footage that shows a police vehicle following a bike at just prior to 6pm,” Ch Supt Martyn Stone said in a statement outside Cardiff Bay Police Station.

He declined to answer questions after the statement.

The footage “will assist us in piecing together the circumstances leading up to the collision,” he added.

“You should examine the carefully-worded statement from the chief superintendent,” he said.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

A car burns amid disorder in the Cardiff suburb of Ely

“We can confirm that the following investigations have been carried out so far, and that when the collision occurred there was no police vehicle on Snowden Road,” Ch Supt Stone said.

“At this stage we do not believe any other vehicles were involved.”

The force has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), he confirmed.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We will be sending investigators to a police post incident procedure to begin gathering information and to assess whether the IOPC will carry out an independent investigation”.

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The ashes of burnt-out cars could be seen on Tuesday morning

Cars were set alight, fireworks were set off and paving slabs were thrown at police as more than 100 people gathered following the crash.

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Litter and burnt cars were left on the street in Ely, Cardiff

“Fifteen police officers were injured, 11 were taken to hospital, and four were treated at the scene,” Ch Supt Stone said.

A number of arrests have already been made he said, “and there will be more to come”.

“Residents have our assurances that we will be doing our best to arrest those responsible,” he added.

‘Understandably frightened’

Police were called to the crash shortly after 18:00 BST on Monday.

At about 20:00, police tweeted that they were still at the scene of the collision but were also working to “de-escalate ongoing disorder”.

The force said it had received a large number of calls from “understandably frightened” residents.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was called back to the scene 22:30 and took five people to hospital.

Local resident Ahmad Abdullah, 34, said he heard threats from rioters to “kill” police officers at the scene.

“They said that they would not stop until they killed a police officer.”

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Cardiff: Ely rioters throw fireworks at police

He said “the people in this community don’t feel safe now. We feel it could escalate at any time.”

Young people were chasing police officers up the road, throwing stones and missiles at cars, he said.

The force said its thoughts were with the families of the two boys who had died as well as those affected by the rioting.

Image caption,

A car was set on fire and tipped on its roof

Bridy Bool, who knows the Evans family, said Harvey had “loads of friends” and loved motorbikes and football.

“He was best friends with Kyrees and [they] were into the same things. It was not unusual for them to be together,” she said.

Ms Bool said she believed the pair were being chased by officers “as there are videos going around”.

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A car with its windows smashed on Snowden Road in Ely

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt told the Senedd on Tuesday afternoon that more arrests are expected.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said he was “very concerned” by the “upsetting reports”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said what had happened was “appalling and completely unacceptable”.

Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for a full investigation. Welsh Conservative Senedd group leader Andrew RT Davies called it “deeply concerning”.

Cardiff council leader Huw Thomas appealed for calm, and said the local authority was “assisting with the clean-up, so we can rebuild and project a more positive image of Ely”.

2023-05-23 17:58:12