South Wales Police have received CCTV footage that shows a police vehicle following a bike ahead of a serious collision that killed two teenagers in Cardiff and sparked a riot.
Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, were killed in the Ely area of Cardiff on Monday while riding an electric bike.
Chief Superintendent Martyn Stone told a press conference in Cardiff on Tuesday: “We have received footage that shows a police vehicle following a bike at just prior to 6pm.
“This footage is being recovered as part of the investigation and will assist us in piecing together the circumstances leading up to the collision.
“The families are being kept up to date.
“We can confirm the following investigations have been carried out so far and when the collision occurred there were no police vehicles on Snowden Road.”
It follows the footage emerging online after the force said the crash happened before officers attended the scene.
Alun Michael, South Wales police and crime commissioner, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier on Tuesday that police had not chased the pair.
He said: “It would appear that there were rumours, and those rumours became rife, of a police chase, which wasn’t the case.”
Tensions reached breaking point after officers were called to the scene in Snowden Road shortly after 6pm on Monday.
Some residents in the district claimed the two boys, who were named locally, were being pursued by South Wales Police – an allegation that was earlier denied by the force.
Police said the collision had already occurred when officers arrived, and they remained on the scene to manage “large-scale disorder” until the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Mr Stone confirmed that a “mandatory referral” had been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following the disorder to “ensure the matter receives independent scrutiny”.
At around midnight Belinda Sullivan, Kyrees’s mother, pleaded on Facebook with the rioters to stop because her son’s body remained at the scene of the collision.
Friends of the two boys, who were from the Ely area, said they were riding a Sur-Ron electric bike without helmets when they died.
Tributes were paid to the two teenagers, with one local resident, Bridy Bool, calling Harvey a “sociable” boy with “loads of friends” who loved motorbikes and football.
She added that he was best friends with Kyrees, who was “into the same things”.
Specially trained public order officers were deployed, including officers from neighbouring police forces, as several vehicles were set alight, property was damaged and officers were injured.
Scenes being livestreamed on YouTube showed young people throwing fireworks and other missiles at a line of police officers with riot shields who were blocking one end of the street.
Shortly before midnight a car was set on fire and burned fiercely, while a second vehicle was overturned and also torched.
One person was attacked because rioters thought they were an undercover officer, according to a senior officer at the scene.
Mr Stone confirmed while speaking to the press that 15 police officers had required medical attention following the disorder – 11 went to hospital and four were treated at the scene.
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The chief superintendent said arrests had been made and more would follow.
“I would like to acknowledge the impact last night’s disorder had on local residents, who are understandably very frightened,” he told the press conference.
“They have our assurances that we will be doing our best to arrest all of those responsible. A number of arrests have already been made and more will follow.”