Statement following High Court ruling over decision not to re-investigate fatal police shooting of Lewis Skelton

Published: 26 Apr 2024

Following the ruling by the High Court today (26 April) relating to the decision by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) not to re-investigate the fatal police shooting of Lewis Skelton, in November 2016, we have issued the following statement:

Lewis Skelton’s death was a tragedy that has had a profound impact on his family, friends and the wider community. Our thoughts remain with all those affected by what happened.

The fatal police shooting of Mr Skelton was subject to a thorough investigation, which concluded in 2017, by our predecessor, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). 

The investigation examined the circumstances of the incident. Throughout that investigation, the officer who fired the shots was treated as a witness rather than being under investigation for his conduct. The IPCC concluded the officer acted under the genuine belief it was necessary to prevent a threat to life. 

Following the inquest, which concluded four years later in 2021, Mr Skelton’s family asked us to re-open the investigation. In light of this request, and the jury’s verdict that Mr Skelton was unlawfully killed, we carried out a detailed review of both the IPCC investigation and the evidence heard during the inquest.

The review identified some errors in the original IPCC investigation, however we did not believe these errors would have materially impacted on the outcome of the investigation. As a result, we did not consider that the threshold was met for us to re-investigate.

This decision not to re-investigate was subject to a judicial review and we note today’s ruling. We will now carefully consider the judge’s comments before determining our next steps.

We would once again like to extend our sympathies to all those affected by these tragic events.

  • Humberside Police
  • Use of force and armed policing