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.
“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.