Mayhill: ‘Enhanced’ police patrols after officers hurt in rioton May 22, 2021 at 9:16 am

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Cars were burnt out and house windows smashed as 200 people ran riot in an area of Swansea.

“Enhanced” police patrols have been promised in an area of Swansea after rioters threw bricks at houses and torched cars, injuring seven officers.

Police have not reported any further incidents in Mayhill as they continue to investigate Thursday’s violence.

South Wales Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said he would “stop at nothing to find” the estimated 200 culprits.

Families spoke of being trapped in houses, with police “pelted with rocks” as they tried to break up the violence.

The violence in Waun-Wen Road began after a vigil was held for a local man who had died.

A balloon release had been planned in memory of 19-year-old Ethan Powell who collapsed and died suddenly on Wednesday.

But it escalated with fireworks being set off, followed by widespread disorder, with groups rolling a car down the middle of the street into a burning car.

Police said they were using CCTV and social media footage to identify those responsible and urged people to send in any photos or videos as investigations continue.

Tom Giffard, Conservative Senedd member for South Wales West, said the “police were severely outnumbered” but it was hard to make a “huge amount of judgement” based on the footage seen on social media.

“It’s really shocking and disturbing footage really because it’s not a scene you’d expect to see in quite a tight knit community,” he told BBC Radio Wales.

South Wales Police said seven officers suffered minor injuries when they were hit by missiles and told the community of Mayhill that officers “will stop at nothing” to find the culprits.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Gilmer said officers were mobilised “within minutes”.

Street cleaning seen on the streets

In a Facebook post on Friday, she described it as “a very challenging situation” with about 200 people involved in the incident and with officers deployed from across the force area.

“I want to reassure the residents of Mayhill that we shall be maintaining an enhanced police presence throughout the weekend,” she said.

There were police vans parked on street corners in Mayhill on Friday evening and officers spoke with people as they walked by while some were refused access to Waun-Wen Road.

Swansea business owner Sophie Heneberry, who has been helping to raise funds for those counting the cost of incident, said people have been “willing to help in all sorts of ways”.

Cars on fire in Mayhill

image copyrightSocial Media

As well as helping with boarding windows and cash offers, she said one man has donated a car to the owner of the vehicle that was “pushed down the hill” by the mob.

“People have been amazing,” she said. “That’s the Swansea we know and love.”

Politicians condemned the behaviour of those involved in the riot, as First Minister Mark Drakeford said the “violent scenes were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the scenes were “disgraceful” and said her “thoughts are with Mayhill residents who had to endure such shocking behaviour”.

People sweeping the streets

Swansea’s council leader called it “disgusting behaviour by yobs” but Rob Stewart said: “What happened is neither reflective of Mayhill and Waun-Wen, nor Swansea.”

The community has led the clean-up of the Mayhill area while Swansea council deployed extra resources to help repair damaged roads and pavements, doors and windows.

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