More Police Does Not Equal Less Crime: Canada’s Cities Have Sufficient Police Resources

Canadian cities are very safe relative to American cities. Some cities could reduce crime with a targeted police presence in relatively dangerous neighbourhoods. However, simply increasing police levels does not appear to be an effective anti-crime strategy, and police services could free up resources by adopting more efficient staffing policies.

Published on March 11, 2013

Executive Summary

• 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.

View entire study as PDF (16 Pages)

Featured News


Why We Should Be Skeptical Of The Hydrogen Economy

Why We Should Be Skeptical Of The Hydrogen Economy

At first glance, using highly variable, intermittent, inexpensive renewable energy to produce hydrogen for energy supply stabilization seems logical. However, renewable energy is not always readily available. The concept of hydrogen as a ‘buffer,’ akin to a battery,...

Keep or Can the New Canada Water Agency?

Keep or Can the New Canada Water Agency?

In May, the federal government announced it was creating a new organization called the Canada Water Agency.   It will have a 5-year budget of $85 million, staff of 215, half of which will be located at a new headquarters in Winnipeg. This is part of a broader effort...