Mark Drakeford to chair community meeting after teenagers’ deaths sparked riot

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It comes after the deaths of Harvey Evans, 15, and Kyrees Sullivan, 16, sparked a riot in the Ely area of Cardiff (PA Wire)

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford will chair 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 Sur-Ron bike they were riding crashed in the Ely area of the city just after 6pm on Monday.

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”.

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 Surons 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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