Two police officers who followed two teenage boys minutes before they were killed in a crash in Cardiff have been served with gross misconduct notices, the Independent Office for Police Conduct said.
The officers were in a marked van and had followed Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, on an electric bike before it crashed on Snowden Road on 22 May.
South Wales Police had referred itself to the watchdog after CCTV footage emerged of a police van following the boys on a bike on nearby Frank Road.
Other footage shows the van turned off and was not following the boys at the time of the collision.
Riotous scenes followed in the hours after the fatal crash in the Ely area of the capital and so far 20 people have been arrested in connection with the disorder.
The IOPC said in a statement that the driver and passenger of the police van have both been served with the notices.
The watchdog stressed that these notices are to advise officers that their conduct is under investigation and did not necessarily mean disciplinary proceedings would follow.
‘Hundreds of clips’
In a statement, the IOPC said: “As part of our investigation, we have served gross misconduct notices on two police officers, the driver and passenger in a marked 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.”
The watchdog said investigators were reviewing “hundreds of video footage clips” that have been gathered as a result of house-to-house enquiries and leafleting at properties in the Ely area of the city.
“To ensure we identify and secure relevant evidence, we have followed up inquiries with, and taken statements from, some local residents,” the IOPC said.
“We have also set up witness appeal boards on relevant streets. In addition to these lines of inquiry, we have reviewed initial accounts and body-worn video from relevant police officers and staff.
“Our investigation continues to focus on the nature of the police interaction with the two boys prior to the collision and the appropriateness of the officers’ decisions and actions.
“In particular, we are examining whether at any time the decisions and actions of the officers in the police vehicle constituted a pursuit. South Wales Police has continued to co-operate with our investigation.”
The watchdog added it was in regular contact with the boys’ families to keep them updated on the progress of the investigation.
Following Harvey’s death, his family said their hearts were “truly broken”.
They described him as living “life to the full” and having a “big heart”, adding that “deep down, he truly cared”.
His family also asked for “peace within the community” and asked people to allow the police to investigate and “get the answers we so desperately need”.
“As Harvey’s mum I want to remember our son as the fun and loving son that he was and not as the media are portraying him now”.
Kyrees was a “handsome young man” and a “loving son and brother”, his family said.
They added that he and Harvey “went everywhere together” and were loved “not only by their families but by their community as well”.
In the days following the crash, flowers were laid near the scene and messages of tributes were left by friends and family.
Blue balloons were release in memory of the two teenagers.
First minister of Wales and local Senedd member Mark Drakeford led a meeting of community leaders to discuss the unrest which followed.
South Wales Police have confirmed that 20 arrests have been made in connection with disorder which followed the fatal crash.