Mayhill: 'Enhanced' police patrols after officers hurt in riot

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Media caption,

'Disturbing' social media footage of cars being set on fire in 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 said there has been no further incidents in Mayhill as they continue to investigate Thursday's violence.

Officers have not made any arrests but South Wales Police Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said he would "stop at nothing to find" the 200 culprits.

Families said they were trapped inside as police were "pelted with rocks".

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.

Media caption,

Rioters 'smashed through my windows and door'

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.

Media caption,

Mayhill rioters throw bricks at police van

"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".

Image caption,
A police van is patrolling Waun-Wen Road on Saturday two days after riots on that street in Mayhill

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.

Image caption,
Burnt out cars have been removed from the street, with council street cleaners working in the area

Ben Wheel from nearby Fforestfach, is trying to contact the owner of one of the cars damaged when the mob to offer them his black 2007 Vauxhall Astra after he recently bought another vehicle.

The 27-year-old personal trainer said he wanted to give his car away to provide some "help".

"It's disgusting," he said. "There's no way that should have happened."

Image source, Social Media
Image caption,
Social media footage shows a car rolling down a hill, crashing into a burning vehicle

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".

As well as offering people their old car, members of the local community have helped with boarding up windows, cleaning debris and giving cash,

"People have been amazing," said Ms Heneberry. "That's the Swansea we know and love."

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.

Image caption,
Volunteers helped with the clean-up on Friday morning, sweeping up burnt plastic and broken glass

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".

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."