Counting how many people police shoot in Western countries — or really any part of the world — is difficult because not all governments keep reliable or comparable statistics.
Canada is one of the worst offenders when it comes to tallying how many people are killed by police officers and why. Reporting is done in a patchwork manner. Some provinces post coroners' inquests online, such as Ontario, B.C. and Alberta. But not all shootings are deemed to warrant an inquest so many people who are shot remain a mere statistic with no details available.
Experts in policing in Canada say the average number of people shot annually has reached 15 in the last few years. But even Canada's worst year, when 22 people were shot, pales next to staggering figures from the U.S. where guns are commonplace. Still, it's high compared to the U.K. – or Iceland.
By the numbers: 1 to 1,100
- 1 person was shot in Iceland (population 323,002) by police in 2013. It was the first instance in the country's 71-year history.
- 4 people were shot in the U.K. (population 52 million) from 2010 to 2014 compared to the 26 people who were shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico (population 556,495) during the same time period.
- 94 people were fatally shot in Australia (population 23.13 million) by police between 1992 and 2011, according to a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC).
- 224 people have been shot by police in Canada (population 35 million) in the past 15 years (2000-2014), according to Dr. Rick Parent at Simon Fraser University.
- 913 people are shot on average in the U.S. (population 318 million) each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. But not all policing agencies report to the bureau. 1,100 people were killed by U.S. police in 2014, according to thefreethoughtproject.com.