Police in Westminster shoot dead a man carrying two knives

A man armed with two knives has been shot dead by police in Westminster.

Officers were patrolling near Whitehall at about 11.30pm on Sunday when they noticed a man acting suspiciously.

When challenged, he produced two knives and was shot. The incident is not related to terrorism, police said.

Forensic investigators were at the scene in Great Scotland Yard on Monday – a road that connects Whitehall and Northumberland Avenue, near Trafalgar Square.

It skirts the Department of International Trade, contains the Civil Service Club and various hotels and bars, and is about half a mile from the Metropolitan Police headquarters at New Scotland Yard.

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The nearby area between Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament is the most heavily covered part of the country in terms of armed officers.

Joe Dunne, deputy manager of The Clarence pub, on the corner of Whitehall, said the incident was “not a complete surprise”, given the central London location.

Westminster police shooting
A police cordon was in place after the incident on Sunday night (Scott D’Arcy/PA)

Dunne said staff had closed the pub around an hour before the shooting.

“It’s not a complete surprise – due to the location this can happen,” he said.

“It’s quite rare, I haven’t been around when that’s happened before – this means it’s fairly serious. If the police have shot someone it’s fairly serious.”

Following the shooting, London Ambulance Service were called but the man was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Westminster shooting
The incident is not terror-related, police said (Yui Mok/PA)

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating, as is standard for any police shooting.

Fatal police shootings in the UK are rare and recent incidents have mainly been part of responses to terror attacks.

In the year to March 2019, there were 20,186 police firearms operations in England and Wales, around a quarter of which were carried out by the Met.

There were 13 incidents nationally in which officers actually fired their guns.

The most recent fatal shooting involving a Met officer and not linked to counter-terrorism was in April 2018, when Richard Cottier, who was seen with a gun, was killed in Collier Row, east London.

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  • Show Comments
    1. I’m assuming this is part of not only a ‘shoot to kill’ policy but one where the first response to anyone armed is to shoot them rather than try to take them prisoner.

      I say this because prior to this case there have been incidents where members of the public have subdued knife wielding criminals (later deemed to be terrorists) only to have the police force them away to allow them to shoot them, unarmed, as they lay on the ground.

      I believe this stems from Operation Kratos (forgive any spelling errors) as introduced some years back when Cressida Dick authorised the shooting, erroneously, of Jean Charles De Menezes. He was unarmed and trapped, they (as per Kratos instructions) shot him in his head to ensure he was killed.

      In forces elsewhere in the country armed officers are rarely called for knives, officers are widely supplied with tasers and I don’t for a minute believe that the police at this incident were not so armed. I believe they were acting on standing instructions to ensure anyone in the vicinity of parliament found to be armed and threatening should be shot dead and no attempt made to arrest.

      I’m old enough to remember our government denying that there was a ‘shoot to kill’ policy in NI during the troubles (and we’re seeing old soldiers being put on trial for its implementation now) and we turn a blind eye to this happening under our noses outside what is supposed to be our centre of democracy. When governments decide they are ‘not taking prisoners’ you have to realise you are no longer living in a free democracy anymore..

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