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Man armed with two knives shot dead by police in Westminster

Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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.

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.

Mr Dunne, 39, from Brixton, south London, 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.

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, 41, who was seen with a gun, was killed in Collier Row, east London.

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