Cars set alight after vigil turns into riot during 'disturbing' Welsh violence

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Watch: Cars set alight and windows smashed after vigil turns into 'disturbing' riot

Cars were set on fire and people ordered to stay indoors after a vigil descended into violence in Swansea on Thursday night. 

Pictures and videos shared on social media showed cars alight in the middle of the road and crowds cheering as a vehicle was rolled down a hill in the city's Mayhill area.

The violence, which is thought to have started as a vigil for a local resident who recently died, was branded "totally unacceptable" by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, and "disturbing" and "reckless" by local politicians.

Shocking images showed cars set alight by a mob in the Mayhill area of Swansea. (Wales News)
Shocking images showed cars set alight by a mob in the Mayhill area of Swansea. (Wales News)

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As police battled to bring the crowds under control, they warned people in the area to stay indoors. 

Images in the aftermath of the violence showed burnt-out cars and damage to the road caused by the blaze.

South Wales police said a full investigation would be launched into the events of Thursday night.

Superintendent Tim Morgan, who earlier said the situation had escalated into "violence, criminal damage and a wanton disregard for public safety", said: "Last night’s incident was totally unacceptable and we will be doing all we can to identify those responsible."

Police have launched an investigation into the violence and urged people with information to come forward. (Wales News)
Police have launched an investigation into the violence and urged people with information to come forward. (Wales News)

He added: "I want to reassure the community of Mayhill that those involved can expect to face robust action. Post-incident investigations have already started to identify all those concerned", and urged anyone with any information or any photographs or video footage to contact police.

The rioters faced a backlash on social media, with one user saying things had got "out of hand", saying the vigil was supposed to include "bikes and balloons", not a "riot".

Another accused rioters of showing disrespect to the person they were supposed to be remembering, branding them a "disgrace" and "scum of the earth".

People hit out at the rioters on social media, saying things had got out of hand. (Twitter)
People hit out at the rioters on social media, saying things had got out of hand. (Twitter)

On Friday Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted: "The violent scenes in Swansea last night were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated anywhere in Wales.

"Thank you @SWPSwansea for bringing the situation under control and continuing to monitor it closely this morning."

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Welsh Parliament member Tom Giffard called the scenes "disturbing", and Welsh secretary and Carmarthen West.

South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said: "A tough night for the police dealing with such reckless behaviour. No excuses, police right to robustly respond."

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