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Cardiff community seeks answers and reassurance from police following tragic deaths

IN THE AFTERMATH of the devastating events that unfolded in Cardiff on 23rd May 2023, numerous questions loom over the community of Ely. The South Wales Police held a press conference at their headquarters in Bridgend, aiming to provide more information and address concerns regarding the ongoing investigation. However, the event left many queries unanswered, as the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is set to conduct its own inquiry.

Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon, facing a tense atmosphere, directly addressed the community of Ely, speaking to them through the lenses of the assembled cameras. Journalists, though limited in their inquiries due to the pending IOPC investigation, attempted to seek clarity from Bacon. One BBC reporter presented newly obtained footage that appeared to contradict the timeline of events provided by the police. Bacon responded, acknowledging the discrepancy but emphasizing that she had relayed the information to the best of her knowledge, further stating that the police force is committed to understanding the tragic incident and its causes.

The uncertainty surrounding the events has raised concerns within the community, with some questioning the police force’s credibility. Bacon, in response, expressed the force’s dedication to the people of Ely, acknowledging the tragic outcome and expressing a desire to comprehend the reasons behind it. Despite attempts to address the concerns, the press conference concluded, leaving many questions unanswered.

Bacon acknowledged that the situation on the morning following the incident was still “very unclear,” and she expressed a desire to communicate with the community earlier. However, the lack of information hindered her ability to do so promptly. The community’s frustrations regarding police actions, particularly whether the police were pursuing the boys involved, remain unaddressed as the IOPC investigation continues. Bacon, prioritizing transparency, stated that she couldn’t comment on the matter until the independent investigation concludes.

Turning to the violence that transpired in Ely on Monday evening, Bacon condemned the actions, deeming them inexcusable. She emphasized that the police force was actively reviewing extensive footage, both from CCTV cameras and social media platforms, to investigate the appalling scenes of violence. Bacon expressed gratitude for the support and cooperation received from the community and appealed for additional information.

During the press conference, Bacon provided a timeline of events as understood by the police. The sequence of events, as presented by the Deputy Chief Constable, involved a bike approaching a police vehicle, which subsequently turned around. The bike was then followed by the police vehicle without the use of blue lights or sirens. The police vehicle traversed various roads until it reached Grand Avenue, approximately half a mile away from the location of the collision on Snowden Road. The force has referred the matter to the IOPC for an independent investigation and clarified that they believe no police vehicle was present on Snowden Road at the time of the collision.

Bacon concluded her statement by expressing the force’s condolences and support for the family and friends of the two teenagers, Harvey Evans and Kyrees Sullivan, whose lives were tragically lost. She acknowledged the immense grief experienced by their loved ones and assured them that the police would remain in contact and provide necessary assistance.

The South Wales Police’s statement, though intended to provide clarity and reassurance, left many questions unanswered, leaving the community of Ely seeking further information. As the IOPC investigation proceeds, the hope remains that the truth will emerge, offering closure and understanding to a community grappling with the aftermath of a tragic incident that unfolded on their streets.

Bacon says the force is aware of concerns around the timeline of events, including CCTV footage.

Bacon then gives the following timeline:

  • 17:59:40: A bike travelled towards the police vehicle in Frank Road, the bike turns around
  • 18:00:52: The bike is followed by the police vehicle. Neither blue lights nor sirens in use
  • 18:01:18: Police vehicle at New Ely Church roundabout, travels through Archer Road, Stanway Road and Howell Road
  • 18:02:31: Police vehicle turns onto Grand Avenue
  • 18:02:18-18:02:41: This is the approximate time of the collision on Snowden Road. The police vehicle is in Grand Avenue, half a mile away from Snowden Road
Flowers and tributes left for the two teenagers in Ely, Cardiff