Sunday, 6 May 2007

Today's sad loss does not demonstrate that more police are in more danger

Interesting statistics on the number of police killed in action in England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland being something of an unusual situation) suggest that tabloid fears that society is becoming more violent are - at least as far as the police are concerned - misplaced.

Before the latest officer death, Police Memorial Trust figures showed 27 officers were killed in the 1970s, 42 in the 1980s, 21 in the 1990s and 15 since 2000.
This suggests that there is are generally a couple of officers killed a year, except in the 1980s when the figure was nearly twice as high.

I am still proud that we are a society where most police constables do not need to carry a firearm as they patrol the streets. I hope that we can continue to be so, but if the level of gun crime (a real problem in my neck of the woods) increases, the pressure will build to arm our police.

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