Police pay is back in the news again. I thought I’d bring some new data to the debate, courtesy of Dr. Stephen Roberts of the University of Oxford. The graphic below shows the fatal accident rate for the thirty most hazardous occupations in Britain and makes it remarkably clear that if you thought that British police were paid a lot because their jobs were dangerous, you were probably mistaken.
This data is a bit old now (1980s) but even latest reports show that policing in the UK remains relatively safe, if stressful. Anyway, the point is that, as I’ve said before, pay should reflect skills and performance: danger is unlikely to be a major factor. Incidentally, the data also shows the reason why successive governments have introduced all those health and safety reforms that so many people rant and rave about. Health and safety gone mad?