Two police officers captured on CCTV following two boys on an electric bike shortly before they died in a crash, sparking a riot, have been served with gross misconduct notices, a watchdog has said.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died on the evening of Monday May 22 when they crashed on a Sur-Ron bike minutes after CCTV had captured them being followed by a police van.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the two officers – the driver and passenger – in the vehicle were under investigation for gross misconduct following the incident in Ely, Cardiff.

The watchdog said the serving of the notices did not mean that disciplinary proceedings would follow.

It had previously said it was looking at the nature of the police interaction with the two boys prior to the collision and the appropriateness of the police officers’ decisions and actions, whether at any time the decisions and actions of the officers in the police vehicle constituted a pursuit and whether the interaction between the police officers and the boys was reported appropriately by the officers prior to and following the collision.

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.

Harvey Evans (left) and best friend Kyrees Sullivan pictured when they were young children (South Wales Police/Family handout/PA)
Harvey Evans (left) and best friend Kyrees Sullivan pictured when they were young children (South Wales Police/Family handout/PA)

“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 focused on establishing precisely what happened in the run-up to the tragic incident.

“Our work will remain impartial and completely independent of the police.”

Cardiff road traffic collision
People wore T-shirts with the faces of the two teenagers to pay tribute (Jacob King/PA)

The watchdog said investigators were reviewing hundreds of video clips and have also reviewed initial accounts and body-worn video from police officers and staff.

As part of the criminal investigation into the aftermath of the teenagers’ deaths, 20 people have been arrested in connection with the riot.

Hours of violence and disorder were sparked when news of their deaths and the suggestion police had been pursuing the pair prior to the incident spread throughout the community and on social media.

South Wales Police said 17 males and three females, aged between 14 and 36, had been arrested on suspicion of riot.

All have since been released on police bail while the investigation continues, the force said.