Issue 16-66: Police Resources

March 31, 2016

As of May, 2015 there were 8,678 police officers in the province, an addition of six officers since 2014. The rate of police strength (the number of police per 100,000 population) in B.C. was 185 in 2015, 0.9% lower than in the previous year and marking the fourth consecutive annual decline.

Among some of the province’s larger municipalities, there were 1,280 police officers in Vancouver, just over 640 in Surrey, 243 in Victoria and 156 in Saanich, which adds up to 197, 129, 240 and 137 police officers per 100,000 population, respectively.

The province remains well below the national per capita rate of 192 officers per 100,000 Canadians. With a rate of 202, Saskatchewan had the highest rate for police strength among the provinces, while P.E.I. (154) had the lowest.

In 2015, over a fifth (22%) of police officers in British Columbia were female, the second highest proportion of any province or territory (Quebec recorded 25%). The percentage of female police officers in Canada has been increasing steadily over the past couple of decades. While females represented just 10% of all police officers in the country in 1995, by 2015, their proportion had grown to 21%.

Data Source: Statistics Canada