Percentage of local budget ranges from 4.5 to 23.3%  
Victoria, Esquimalt and Central Saanich continue to spend significantly more of their budget on policing than other municipalities in Greater Victoria, according to an analysis by Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.  
The Policing Costs for Greater Victoria Report found that the City of Victoria spends 23.3% of its budget on policing, Esquimalt 22.8%, and Central Saanich 20.1%, based on the most recent provincial report Police Resources in British Columbia (2018).
“This analysis should be of considerable interest and help to councils and police boards as they finalize police budgets,” says Colin Nielsen, a retired Mountie and board member with Grumpy Taxpayer$. 
“Our community security is critical and allocating adequate resources is the most important and challenging decision for  councils and police boards.
“There’s much more to this issue than cost differentials, to be sure fractured policing impacts public safety.” 
At only 4.5 per cent, the district of Metchosin spends the least amount of their budget on policing, followed by Highlands at 5.4 per cent. Both districts have populations below 5,000 and so are assigned a subsidized cost for the service by the RCMP.
The recent unionization of the RCMP is expected to impact the budgets of the RCMP and municipalities with their own police forces. 
Taxpayers spent $116 million for policing costs in Greater Victoria in 2018 out of municipal budgets totaling $644 million (excludes CRD, hospital district, transit and so on). There are about 560 police officers serving a population of 385,000 (excludes CRD unincorporated areas).  
The report compares regional municipalities by population, police strength, population per officer, crime rate, case load, total expenditure for policing, policing cost per capita, total municipal expenditure, and percentage of total budget spent on policing.
Increasing police costs likely after police union, Grumpy Taxpayers, Press Release Aug. 27, 2019. 
Police Resources in British Columbia, 2018, Government of BC,  2019.   
2 thoughts on “Report on policing and costs for Greater Victoria released”
  1. this report is very misleading and presumes costs for policing in vic are excessive when compared to others. but that is comparing tax burden only not the actual costs for each police unit. Most munis in the CRd are heavily subsidized and their residents only pay a portion of the actual police costs .. for those less than5000 residents they are only charged 50% For other such as Sidney they pay only 70% of the real cost of the RCMP contract.. Why shouldn’t residents of Langford have to pay full costs of their RCMP contract .

    the provincial subsidy makes the cost of victoria policing look much higher in comparison than they really are.

    also when victoria arrest somebody many of the felons are not resident of Victoria but from the other 12 munis yet victoria residents pays all the costs for their crimes.

  2. Good morning gentlemen,

    Granted Victoria and Esquimalt pay more but Victoria’s extra cost is related to their being the core tourist area and government centre of the province. Overall, policing costs in the CRD (excluding the RCMP) is pretty much on par with other cities and towns and across Canada. The RCMP cannot be included as that force operates on special agreements that make it nearly impossible to compare costs between the Federal service and local city/municipal departments. Also, RCMP services are partially funded by the citizens of the cities and towns who pay for their own police.

    Because Victoria takes in the lions-share of tourist dollars and government business, that requires extra policing. For that, they are well rewarded in terms of dollars coming into the city proper. If the City does not budge dollars commensurate with the service requirement, they need to make adjustments by charging more to those who gain from the influx of dollars. Also, entering into shared service agreements is one of the quickest, cheapest and most efficient methods of accomplishing that. Amalgamation is the most costly and inefficient and would, in the long run, begin to drain resources from other areas.

    On average we have about 500 sworn municipal officers around the CRD and they come at a total cost of $504 million. That works out to $200,000 per sworn member (civilian members are considered part of the service included in the sworn member numbers). That’s pretty close to the average across Canada and a rate that continues to provide an excellent level of service to our citizens.


    Harold McNeill
    Det/Sgt. (Retired, Oak Bay PD)

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