27 people aged 15 to 44 have been charged with offences after widespread disorder in the Mayhill area of Swansea in the spring of 2021.
On 20 May 2021, a vigil held for Ethan Powell descended into chaos.
The charges laid are for the offence of riot, with two defendants also facing charges of arson with intent to endanger life or being reckless as to whether a life of another would be endangered.
They are due to appear in Swansea Magistrates’ Court between 2nd – 4th March 2022.
Cars were set on fire and bricks were hurled at houses, leaving people fearing for their lives.
An independent report published last week found that the police left residents “in danger, at risk and unprotected” for a “protracted period” during the disturbance.
Jeremy Vaughan, the chief constable of South Wales police, apologised for his force failing to act quickly enough. The review highlighted that scores of officers were in the area but stood by. It also said that one officer in charge that night twice asked for extra police as backup but was refused.
First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted: ‘
The violent scenes in Swansea last night were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated anywhere in Wales.’
Welsh Parliament member Tom Giffard called the scenes ‘disturbing’, while Welsh secretary and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said:
‘A tough night for the police dealing with such reckless behaviour. ‘No excuses, police right to robustly respond.’
South Wales Police said the incident was brought under control at around 1am but urged local residents against returning to the area and to remain indoors throughout the night.
Chief Superintendent Trudi Meyrick, policing commander for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, said:
“Following a thorough investigation by local detectives the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) received files of evidence against these individuals. After detailed consideration by the CPS they have authorised the charges of riot and arson with intent to endanger life be brought.
“The investigation team were resolute in their commitment to fully investigate the disorder that happened that night; residents of Mayhill were subjected to terrible scenes of disorder which caused serious harm and distress to the community.
“The judicial process will now run its course and we await the outcome of that process. In the meantime our local Neighbourhood Policing Team continues to work in partnership with agencies and the local community to tackle the issues that matter most to the residents of Mayhill and surrounding areas.”
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