Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Investigation into Avon and Somerset actions prior to death of Spencer Ashworth almost complete

Our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Spencer Ashworth who was fatally shot by police firearms officers near Portishead in Somerset is almost complete.

Mr Ashworth, whose last known address was in Portishead, was shot by Avon and Somerset Police firearms officers on the A369 Portbury Hundred shortly after 9.30am on 27 September 2017.

Our investigators have analysed a large volume of evidence including body worn video, 999 recordings, a ballistics report, forensic evidence and interviews with the police officers and witnesses.

During the course of our investigation, it became necessary to look at the actions of West Mercia Police and the Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG) and how they dealt with the information they received from a member of the public who saw Mr Ashworth travelling on the M5 prior to the shooting.

The investigations into West Mercia and West Midlands Police, the force responsible for the CMPG call handler involved, are complete and these two forces are aware of our findings.

Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “As our final report into the shooting was being compiled, further enquiries came to light which we are working to complete as quickly as possible. This has been a large, complex investigation involving gathering evidence from a number of independent experts and police forces.

“Our investigation report will form part of the evidence heard at the future inquest into Mr Ashworth’s death. To avoid prejudicing those proceedings we will not consider publishing our findings until the inquest’s conclusion but felt it important to provide an update now.

“We have continued to keep Mr Ashworth’s family, the Coroner and Avon and Somerset Constabulary informed of our progress and appreciate their patience.”

All firearms officers involved have been treated as witnesses throughout.


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