• A common assumption among Canadian policy makers is that hiring more police officers will lead to a reduction in the overall crime rate. Research from the United States and the United Kingdom establishes
that an increased police presence can reduce crime in some contexts.
• Canadian urban centres are relatively safe and it is debatable whether there is much room for crime reduction and subsequent prevention in most of them.
• Analysis of crime rates, clearance rates and police staffing data suggests that increasing police staffing numbers has diminishing returns for crime reduction.
• Canadian cities that are facing crime problems have adequately staffed police services. Making more effective use of one-officer police cruisers and eliminating redundancies are more reasonable policy alternatives to an increase in police staffing.
• Providing funding for more police officers without proper scrutiny would be fiscally irresponsible.
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