London’s 2008 Police Budget Debate

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I said it when I went before London’s CAPS Committee in 2002. I’ve said it many times since then. And now I’ll say it again…
London does not have enough police officers!

Police strength in Canada is well below that in many other industrialized nations. For example, police strength ranges from 222-270 officers per 100,000 population in the United States, Australia, and England and Wales. Police strength in Canada peaked at 206 officers for every 100,000 population in 1975. And of the 25 largest communities Census Metropolitan Areas (by population) in Canada, London’s police strength ranks way down (tied in 14th place with 7 others). 01

Appended 2008/02/24: Based on StatsCan cities-only data that I’ve now found, London’s police strength is actually in the middle of the pack from that more specific perspective. However, as I previously suggested, simply focusing on that stat is misleading (read on).

But that kind of comparison doesn’t tell the whole story, does it? My common sense tell me that the communities that need the most police, are those that have the most males aged 15-24 (approx).

Based on my crunching of the CMA numbers that I got from the StatsCan website, of those same 25 communities, London ranks 7th in terms of the number of males aged 15-24 per capita. And then I crunched the CMA numbers again, and I determined that London only ranks 20th out of 25 when you compare the # of police that we have with the number of males aged 15-24 that we have. 02

Appended 2008/02/24: Based on my crunching of the cities-only numbers that I got from the StatsCan website, London ranks 6th in terms of the number of males aged 15-24 per capita. And then I crunched the cities-only numbers again, and I determined that London ranks 14th when you compare the # of police that we have with the number of males aged 15-24 that we have. 03 Admittedly, not as bad a picture as was painted by the CMA data, but not a good picture by any stretch of the imagination either (if my premise is correct).

sshhhHowever, I do agree with those members of Council who are complaining about the lack of transparency. I think that all of the city’s Boards and Commissions that I’ve had any dealings with are too secretive. Like HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and HERE, and…

Appended 2008/02/21: Coun. Nancy Branscombe is reportedly complaing that Council members weren’t given a copy of the police budget, and Police Chief Murray Faulkner is reported to have said that “all 62 pages…” of the police budget was provided “…to city administrators”03 The drama unfolds…

Appended 2008/02/22: Can this get any more interesting? Jeff Fielding and Vic Cote are reportedly denying that the city administration ever received a line-by-line budget from the police. 04 So, all that’s clear at this point is that someone isn’t telling the truth.

Sources:
01. 2007/11/16 – The Daily: Police personnel and expenditures
02. 2008/02/20 – FMBS: CMA spreadsheet data
03. 2008/02/20 – FMBS: cities-only spreadsheet data
04. 2008/02/21 – LFP: Secrecy claims raise ire of chief
05. 2008/02/22 – LFP: 4.4 percent

Other Links:
2008/02/04 – FMBS: Jonathan Sher’s Police Budget Half-Truth

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One Response to “London’s 2008 Police Budget Debate”

  1. fowgre Says:

    I don’t allow comments from unidentifiable sources, which is why the submission by CheckYourFacts hasn’t been posted. But I will respond to this objection that was raised:

    “You need to be more careful in your use of statistics. The Statistics Canada report you lined is for London’s census metropoplitan area…”

    I don’t need to be told what a CMA is, and if you made the minimal effort to follow the link to the spreadsheet that I provided you’ll see that the data I used is clearly identified. The problem that I had is that I could only find CMA StatsCan data on numbers of police officers. If StatsCan helps with my inquiry or if somebody else can provide me with a better StatsCan URL I’ll be very pleased to complete the spreadsheet and I’ll be grateful for the assistance.

    Next time, identify yourself. You’ll get more respect that way.

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