The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced they have served gross misconduct notices on two police officers in the police van, which was seen on CCTV footage driving behind the boys’ electric bike a short time prior to the fatal collision on 22 May.
“Such notices advise officers their conduct is subject to investigation. They do not necessarily mean that any disciplinary proceedings will follow,” the police watchdog said.
The investigation relates to the fatal collision which killed Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15 in Ely, Cardiff on the evening of 22 May. The fatal collision was followed by violent riots in Cardiff, with hundreds of people bringing violence and mayhem to a residential street and facing off against officers from South Wales Police.
A vigil was held following the tragic deaths of young boys on 26 May, during which more than a thousand people gathered at the spot where the teenagers died and many of those held blue balloons and wore T-shirts with pictures of Kyrees and Harvey. Hundreds of balloons were then released into the sky.
The investigation, which began last month following a referral from South Wales Police after relevant CCTV footage came to light, continues with the review of hundreds of video footage clips gathered as a result of house-to-house inquiries and leafleting at properties in Ely, the police watchdog said.
“To ensure we identify and secure relevant evidence, we have followed up enquiries with, and taken statements from, some local residents,” the police watchdog added.
“We have also set up witness appeal boards on relevant streets. In addition to these lines of enquiry, we have reviewed initial accounts and body worn video from relevant police officers and staff.”
The focus of the investigation is the nature of the police interaction with the two boys prior to the collision and appropriateness of the officers’ decisions and actions, according to the statement of IOPC. The police watchdog stated they are examining in particular “whether at any time the decisions and actions of the officers in the police vehicle constituted a pursuit.”
IOPC Director David Ford: “I wish to again extend my sympathies to the family and friends of Kyrees and Harvey, and to everyone who has felt the impactful loss of two young lives in Ely.
“The response from the community in helping our investigators has been very positive and I am extremely grateful for this assistance.
“In case there are still people with relevant information we have yet to speak to, we have placed witness appeal boards in the vicinity of the incident.
“We would urge anyone who believes they have useful information to come forward to us. We have also met with local community leaders and elected officials to explain our role and the remit of our investigation.
“As our investigation continues to progress, I would like to reassure everyone that we are focussed on establishing precisely what happened in the run up to the tragic incident. Our work will remain impartial and completely independent of the police.”
Anyone with information or footage can call the IOPC on their incident line number: 0300 3030771 or email: SnowdenRoad@policeconduct.gov.uk.