Essex Police's chief constable has responded to the shocking news of a police officer being shot dead at Croydon custody centre today.

During the early hours of Friday morning, the male officer was shot five times when a man, who was being detained, produced a weapon during a search.

The suspect then shot himself.

The officer, who is said to have been a few weeks away from retirement, was treated at the scene overnight but died in hospital.

A 23-year-old man is in a critical condition after being treated for gunshot wounds.

Essex Police's chief constable, BJ Harrington, tweeted his condolences to the officer's colleagues, loved ones and family.

He tweeted: "Thoughts & prayers of all in @EssexPoliceUK with the family, loves ones & colleagues of Officer who so tragically lost his life in Croydon.

"Our best wishes & support to all @metpoliceuk at this sad & difficult time."

The Prime Minister and officers from around the country have also shared their shock and sadness at the news.