Number of police shootings ‘highest for a decade’

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LAST night’s shooting of a man near junction J24 of the M62 in Huddersfield in a “pre-planned” operation by West Yorkshire Police is the latest in a string of incidents.

The London-based charity, Action on Armed Violence, said today’s incident brought the total shot and killed by police in England and Wales to levels not seen for almost a decade.

The charity said that since the announcement last April that 1,500 more firearm officers were to be trained, there had been five recorded deaths from police shootings.

Executive director Iain Overton said: “The decision to arm more police was taken last year without any hard evidence being presented to Parliament that more guns in the hands of police will make the British population safer.

“While much of the training of these new officers has yet to be completed, we need to be absolutely clear that more armed policemen really do result in a safer Britain.”

On November 29 last year, Lewis James Skelton, 31, was Tasered and shot dead by Humberside Police in Francis Street, close to Hull city centre, amid reports he was “running around with an axe”.

Arrests after police shoot man dead near M62 in Huddersfield

• November 9 2016

Josh Pitt, 24, died after being shot in the chest by a firearms officer at a property in Tracey Court, off Hibbert Street in Luton, as Bedfordshire Police responded to reports that a woman had been assaulted.

• August 15 2016

Ex-Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson, 48, died 90 minutes after he was shot with a Taser by a West Mercia Police officer in the street where he grew up in Telford, Shropshire.

• June 14 216

Dyfed-Powys Police called to reports of a disturbance at Maes Y Bwlch, in Llanelli, Tasered Spencer Beynon, 43, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

• May 1 2016

Two firearms officers shot four times during a pre-planned police operation, leaving William Smith, 36, dead in Smiths Lane, Goudhurst, Kent. Mr Smith was on bail over the death less than nine miles away of 73-year-old Roy Blackman on March 21.

• March 29 2016

James Wilson, 24, died in hospital from his wounds on April 1 after being shot by Northumbria Police officers at an address in Frenchmans Way, South Shields, South Tyneside. Police were responding to reports a man was holding a handgun.