Wimbledon: Man shot by police during cash van raid

Haydon's Road, Wimbledon Image copyright @WimbledonMerton
Image caption A number of roads in the area, including Haydons Road, have been closed by police

A man has been shot by police during a planned operation into a robbery of a cash van.

A witness said he saw two men trying to rob a van outside a Sainsbury's in Wimbledon, south-west London, when officers "swarmed out of the bushes".

The Met Police said the 23-year-old was taken to hospital after the shooting in Lacock Close at about 08:10 GMT.

He has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob, along with another 23-year-old man.

The Met said the condition of the shot man was not life-threatening.

The witness, who did not want to be named, said he saw two men raiding the van before armed police "bounded on them".

"Seven shots were fired. The cops were waiting for them," he added.

The witness said one of the men then ran up the street holding a gun and "when he saw he was turning into a cul-de-sac he turned and fired on the cops, then they returned fire".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Forensic officers have been carrying out searches outside the nearby pub

The Met said the man was shot during an operation into cash in transit robberies.

The operation involved officers from the force's Flying Squad who were supported by armed colleagues, the force confirmed.

A suspected stolen car has been recovered at the scene.

London Ambulance Service said paramedics "treated a person at the scene and took them as a priority to a major trauma centre".

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said that an "incident took place outside our Haydons Road Local" and they were "supporting the police with their investigation".

Image copyright @WimbledonMerton
Image caption The operation the involved the force's Flying Squad who were being assisted by armed colleagues

Haydon's Road has been cordoned off by police between Quicks Road and South Park Road, and North Road is also shut while investigations take place.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched an independent investigation into the shooting.

A spokesperson said the Met had "referred itself to us, as is normal for all incidents involving police shootings and we have sent our investigators to the scene".

The Met's internal Directorate of Professional Standards has also been informed.

The Flying Squad is a branch of the Met's Serious and Organised Crime Command who investigate armed robberies with detectives trained in firearms and covert surveillance roles.

Some of their most famous investigations include The Great Train Robbery and the Brinks-Mat security depot robbery.

How common are armed police operations?

The number of police firearms operations in England and Wales has risen over the past three years reaching 18,746 in the year ending March 2018.

However, this is an overall decrease from its peak in 2008-09 (when comparable records began) when there were 23,181 operations.

Despite the large number of operations, the number of incidents when firearms have been discharged by police is low - just 12 in 2017-18.

Overall, the number of armed police officers is at its highest since 2012, with 6,459 across all police forces.

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