September 24, 2012

Police Deaths

Taking a slight detour from Nommies post I thought I'd do a comparison of the numbers involving people killed by the police and police killed by the people.

Since 1990, 1,439 people have died whilst coming into "contact" with the police. Please note that this figure is for England & Wales only. Numbers for Scotland are harder to find. Likewise, Northern Ireland figures will be much higher than normal because of "The Troubles".

How, I wondered, did the police fare? Without forgetting that every one of these deaths is a tragedy, the police are not as badly off as we are. Since 1900, 300 officers are said to have died in the line of duty.

Since 1680, the total is said to be 5,000. These figures do, however, include deaths from those in service in the Colonies.

When an officer/constable or, in the case below, a Watchman dies on duty, it doesn't matter how he died. Dying in service includes natural causes as well as accidents.

Look at these from Scotland:

"Watchman Joseph Collie, Died 26 October 1835. Blown into the dock and drowned while on duty on a stormy night."


"Acting Detective Sergeant Patrick Burns, Died 10 December 1985, aged 38

Detective Sergeant David Ellis, Died 10 December 1985, aged 30. Killed together in a police car accident in icy road conditions at Aberdeen."

All three are tragic losses, but they hardly compare to the De Menezes case where, just for being an electrician, a firearms officer pumped 10 rounds into his head. 

The above info, and much more on deaths in service, can be found here 

The link concerning civilian deaths is here

The message, if there is one, is that we have much, much more to fear from the police than they do of us. 

And, if we decide to arm the police then I want a gun of my own. I am 80 times more likely to need it to protect myself from them, as I am from Al Qaeda.




Dioclese said...

Knew you wouldn't quit!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, it is something I have been wondering about for some time but didn’t know where to start. Although on a downward slope, the graph as the inquest link is pretty informative. I was not living here at the time, but 2003 appears to be one of the years one did want to be arrested. Anything specific happening then?

Anonymous said...

Do you understand what "contact" means?If I arrest anyone and after being released they die within 24 hours (of anything) then that is a death in police custody.A very high percentage of arrested people are drunk/drugged ad suicidal.A lot die in car crashes instigated by them when they fail to stop.Have any of those people been "killed" by the police?
Great headline but scratch the surface and you are talking nonsense.Guardian readers would be impressed.

Captain Ranty said...


Dying within 24 hours seems highly unfair to me.

I would never agree that those dying whilst driving away are "killed" by the police, but how do we know how many of the 1439 fall into that group? It's all very well saying "A very high percentage" but where is the specific information held?

It's a big number and a broad brush. BUT, if it is anywhere close to the truth then it is still a terrifying number.

The title of the piece was deliberately written to cover both police and civilian deaths.


James Higham said...

Numbers for Scotland are harder to find.

Don't doubt it. LOL.

MTG said...

A Yorkshire Inspector recently took me into his confidence on the 'routine arming' issue with "We have some (colleagues) I wouldn't even trust with a paintgun. Even then I would want these idiots right in front of me at all times, just to see what they were doing."

Not the most inspiring comment and were it a statement for the Press, it would need all the skills of Sir Norman, prior to release.

Anonymous said...

Rock solid evidence Melvin.