Clacton: Police Officer Shot Dead

Police are hunting a gunman after an off-duty police officer was shot dead and a second man injured in Clacton.

The incident happened in the Redbridge Road area just after 3.30pm on Monday.

Officers were called and found one man dead and another with serious leg injuries.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police has now confirmed the man who died is a serving Essex Police Officer.

The force is asking the public to take great care and not to approach Peter Reeve, who is belived to be armed. 

He is described as white, aged 64, height around 5ft 10" with short greyish hair, wearing jeans and possibly with glasses. He comes from the Clacton area.

Anyone who knows where he is or has information about him or where he might be, who or where he might go, to is asked to contact police immediately on 999.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation, wrote on Twitter: "Every police officer in the country is thinking of our colleagues in Essex.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of our colleague who has been killed in Essex. It's a very sad day indeed."

The spokesman for Essex Police said: "Residents are being urged to remain indoors while armed officers locate the gunman.

"Neighbourhood policing officers are maintaining a high-profile and visible presence in the community, supporting victims and witnesses.

Essex Police said the force had received "many phone calls" from members of the public and officers were confident of catching the gunman.

Teams of armed officers were spreading out across Clacton and a police helicopter has been deployed.

Speaking about Pc Dibell at the force's Chelmsford headquarters yesterday, the Chief Constable, Jim Barker-McCardle, said: "This officer is a highly regarded and much loved colleague who has been a important part of Essex Police for 10 years.

"Policing is a family and we are all hurting. This dreadful event reminds us all that policing is a mission that ultimately some die for.

"We will not rest until we have Peter Reeve in custody, the investigation will continue round the clock.''

Mr Barker-McCardle said that members of Pc Dibell's family were also in the police force.

Urging people who witnessed the shooting or have information about Reeve's whereabouts to come forward, he added: "The entire force grieves but we are aware the job is to bring this man to justice and make sure we do everything we can to look after most important people, the family and friends of our fallen colleague.

"There is an armed and very dangerous man out there. Do not hesitate, dial 999.''

The manhunt, being conducted alongside Kent Police, continued overnight, with local officers deployed to protect the public and maintain and strong presence in the area of the killing. A number of police helicopters were also involved in the operation.

A police cordon was last night in place and a white tent stood where Pc Dibell was shot.

More than 13 police vehicles were parked nearby, including a van full of armed officers.

Mr Barker-McCardle said reports the other man shot was a PCSO were incorrect.

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, was among senior policemen who hailed Pc Dibell's bravery.

He said: "The death of our colleague in Essex is deeply sad news for the police service. Pc Ian Dibell died while knowingly walking towards danger, as police officers are called upon to do on behalf of the public they serve.

"The courage he showed in stepping up to do his duty, without thought for his own safety, sums up what it means to be a police officer.''

Mark Smith, chairman of the Essex Police Federation, added: "Constable Ian Dibell was a dedicated professional officer who, even though off duty, has paid the ultimate sacrifice for his bravery and selfless actions in trying to protect his local community.

"No words can help those closest to Pc Dibell at this terribly distressing time but I hope they will find some comfort in knowing that the loss of this brave man is mourned by the entire police family throughout the United Kingdom.''

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