A systematic review of risk factors implicated in the suicide of police officers

Krishnan, Nishant, Steene, Lisa Maria Beethoven, Lewis, Michael orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5567-3569, Marshall, David and Ireland, Jane Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5117-5930 (2022) A systematic review of risk factors implicated in the suicide of police officers. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology .

[thumbnail of VOR]
PDF (VOR) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11896-022-09539-1


Suicide has long been considered as nearing ‘epidemic levels’ in law enforcement populations. Nevertheless, despite the argued scale of the problem, no review has yet systematically examined the evidence base to elucidate the risk factors or predictors implicated in the suicidal behaviours of police officers. The current review aims to do this, by considering a final sample of 20 papers that met inclusion criteria. Findings from this qualitative review revealed five superordinate risk factors (i.e., Problematic substance use close to, or at the time of death; Presence of depression and previous suicide attempts; Differences in trauma response; Exposure to excessive and prolonged job-related stress, including dissatisfaction; Absence of a stable intimate relationship), which when taken in isolation each incrementally contributed to suicide risk, but when found to be comorbid, appeared to markedly increase the likelihood of completed suicide. Implications for suicide prevention, policy design, and treatment formulation are discussed, along with limitations and directions for future research.

Repository Staff Only: item control page