In this study, we compare the rates of New Zealand (NZ) and England and Wales (EW) police shootings from 1970 to 2020. Taking this long view lessens the stochastic effect of shootings over shorter time periods and reveals that the frequency of police shootings has increased in both jurisdictions over this period, despite police not being routinely armed with firearms. In EW, police shootings have increased from an average of 1.4 persons shot per annum for the decade ending 1980 to 4.3 per annum for the decade ending 2020. Similarly, NZ has seen an increase of 0.3 persons shot per annum (decade ending 1980) to 3.7 per annum (decade ending 2020). When comparing the rate of persons shot per million population in the past two decades, NZ has doubled the rate of shootings from 0.360 per million (2001–10) to 0.783 per million (2011–20). Such an increase has not occurred in EW as the number of persons shot has decreased from 0.080 per million (2001–10) to 0.074 per million (2011–20). We highlight the time-series trajectories with trend breakpoints at points of known policy implementations.