PC Gavin Carlton was based at Canley Police Station in Coventry (then known as Fletchamstead Police Station).
On the morning of 19th December 1988 Gavin was one of several officers who responded to an armed robbery at the Tile Hill branch of the Midland Bank in Coventry.
Gavin pursued the offender’s car into Torrington Avenue. A shot was fired at him which caused him to crash into a bollard on the pavement. His vehicle became lodged and as he tried to reverse, the offender fired again at point-blank range killing Gavin instantly, he was just 29 years of age.
The death of Gavin prompted speeches in the House of Commons by the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In June 1990 Gavin was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct.
In September 1990 a memorial was unveiled in Torrington Avenue where Gavin was shot. Each year on the anniversary of his death friends and former colleagues gather at the memorial to remember the sacrifice he paid in service.
In 2010 the Gavin Carlton Conference room was opened at Little Park Street Police station in Coventry. A plaque outside a room named in his honour, reads: “A modest, decent, honourable man who will forever live in our hearts because of the gallantry shown at the time of his death. By that he became wholly outstanding. He was an exemplary example, a shining inspiration to us all”.