The Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford has charged that the UK government is to blame for systematically undermining community life, public services, and people’s salaries, which served as the backdrop to the riots in Cardiff.
Mark Drakeford, who represents the Ely region where riots broke out on Monday night following the deaths of two young lads, claimed that under 13 years of Conservative government, the area’s public services and people’s standards of living have worsened.
The first minister claimed there were similarities between the bread riots of 1991 and his time working with youth justice in Ely. “It’s 13 years of the erosion, the systematic erosion, of the things that sustain community life,” he said. “You fray social fabric at your peril, and we see what happened on Monday.”
Meeting with Community Leaders
Drakeford, who was meeting community leaders in Ely on Friday, said he accepted that the Labour-led Welsh government and Cardiff council had questions to answer about how they were supporting the area. He hinted he believed the police may have made mistakes in their handling of the riots.
The deaths of Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, preceded the disturbance that ensued when a police van followed the electric bike they were riding. Protesters set vehicles on fire.15 police officers sustained injuries, as a result , 12 of them requiring hospital treatment.
On Friday night around a thousand people gathered for a vigil at the spot where the teenagers died. Mourners holding blue balloons and white T-shirts congregated around the floral tributes and messages, with dozens of blue and orange flares being lit.
The sky filled with hundreds of blue balloons as a tribute to the teenagers, In addition, some fireworks lit up the air. Tears streamed down the faces of several people as they released the balloons, and the crowd held a moment of silence before bursting into applause.