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Kelowna policing costs well managed; others rise despite falling crime rates

September 22, 2014 - 10:33 AM

VANCOUVER - A study out of the Fraser Institute says policing costs and the number of officers continue to rise despite a decline in crime rates.

Study author Livio Di Matteo says between 2001 and 2012, police officers per 100,000 Canadians rose 8.7 per cent while the crime rate during the same period fell by 26.3 per cent.

Di Matteo says the cost of policing also went up by 45.5 per cent between 1986 and 2012, while the number of so-called criminal code incidents handled by each officer went down by 36.8 per cent.

It is costing taxpayers more than ever to cover the costs when cities maintain a larger police force than warranted, he says.

Di Matteo adds the declining crime rate and the fact that the nature of policing work has changed to include responding to social problems and behaviours raises the question of whether police resources are being used efficiently.

The study cites police forces in Kelowna, Moncton, N.B. and Ottawa-Gatineau as having the most efficient staffing levels, while Winnipeg, Man., Saint John, N.B. and Windsor, Ont. are cited as having the least efficient staffing levels.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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