WA Police Union research finds death by suicide surpasses those killed on duty

Western Australia's police union says officers need to be offered more mental health support after its own research found rising levels of suicide in the force. WARNING:

This article contains content that some readers may find distressing.  By combining data from the National Coronial Information System, news reports and other sources, the

union said it had created one of the largest collections of information about Australian police officer suicide. The research found a total of 123 officers had taken their

lives since 2000, with most of them occurring since 2015. Rates of suicide had more than doubled from 5.9 deaths per 100,000 serving officers at the turn of the millennium

to 14 per 100,000 in 2022. The union said its research also found that while suicide rates in the general population had remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2022,

the same was not true for police officers.[chart]Suicide rate exceeds those killed on duty The report suggested it was more pertinent though to compare the rates of officers

who died on the job compared to those who died by suicide. It found that since 2007, the rate of deaths by suicide had surpassed the rate of officers killed on

duty. "The leading cause of death for police officers in Australia is no longer criminal gangs in the inner city, but rather the black dog," acting union president Paul Gale

said. Across the country, the average officer who took their own life was aged 44, had been in the force since 23-years-old, with most either ranked sergeant or senior

constable.