Bedfordshire police officers responded “quickly and effectively” to stop an armed man in Luton

The scene of the incident at Hibbert Street
The scene of the incident at Hibbert Street

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the fatal shooting of Josh Pitt, by police, has identified no indication that any firearms officer committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.

Mr Pitt, 24, was shot and killed by a Bedfordshire Police officer on 9 November, 2016, after police responded to an emergency call from a woman at a property in Hibbert Street, Luton, fearing for her safety.

Following an inquest held at Ampthill Coroner’s Court, where a jury returned a lawful killing conclusion on Monday, January 14, we can now publish our report into the circumstances surrounding Mr Pitt’s death.

The IOPC examined body worn video footage from officers who attended the scene, took witness statements, commissioned and reviewed forensic evidence and analysed national and force specific guidelines and training records.

Armed response officers were called after Mr Pitt locked himself in a house in Hibbert Street, in Luton, after forcing entry officers were confronted by Mr Pitt who was carrying two kitchen knives.

Evidence collected showed Mr Pitt was threatening to harm the officers, the woman and himself when they entered the flat.

The woman was pulled to safety by officers at which point Mr Pitt threatened to harm himself and a taser was deployed.

The taser failed to be effective and when Mr Pitt then moved to attack one of the officers he was shot a single time in the chest.

First aid was carried out by officers until an ambulance crew arrived and took over. Mr Pitt was taken to hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

During the IOPC investigation, which concluded in June 2018, we served a notice on one employee with Bedfordshire Police in relation to possibly incorrect information being provided to the officers at the scene.

After further investigation we concluded that the information provided had been accurate and that the employee therefore had no case to answer.

All officers who attended the incident were treated as witnesses throughout our investigation with the conclusion that none of their actions could be considered to have breached standards of professional behaviour.

IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: “The officers involved in this terrible incident responded quickly and effectively to an extremely challenging situation where there was a genuine threat to a member of public and themselves.

“Our investigation concluded that they made efforts to de-escalate the confrontation with Mr Pitt and that the firearm was discharged as a final resort to prevent an officer from being seriously harmed. Sadly Mr Pitt died as a result.”