Armed man shot dead by police in London

The incident in London's Kensington district (above) is not being treated as terrorism, said police. SCREENSHOT: TWITTER

LONDON (AFP) - Police on Saturday (Dec 11) said that armed officers shot dead a man in the British capital but the incident was not being treated as terrorism.

A specialist unit was called out after reports of a man seen with a firearm at a bank and a bookmakers in the Kensington area of the city shortly after 3pm (11pm Singapore time).

Some 20 minutes later, the unit stopped a vehicle and shots were fired. Paramedics, including an air ambulance, were called but the man was pronounced dead just before 4.10pm.

"Efforts are under way to confirm the man's identity and to inform his next of kin," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct."

It added: "The incident is not being treated as terrorism."

British police are not routinely armed and shootings are rare.

The most recent data suggests there were 30 homicides committed by shooting in England and Wales in the year ending March 31, 2020, accounting for 4 per cent of all homicides.

A total of 80 per cent of the victims were male.

In 2020-21, there was just one fatal shooting by police in England and Wales, the lowest figure since 2014-15, according to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Britain recently raised its terror threat level to the second-highest category after a botched bomb attack in Liverpool, northwest England, in November.

A serving member of parliament was also stabbed to death as he met constituents near Southend, east of London, the previous month.

Police and prosecutors linked both attacks to extremism.

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