Issue 17-64: Police Resources

March 31, 2017

In 2016, there were 8,761 police officers in British Columbia, an addition of approximately 90 officers since 2015. The number of police per 100,000 population in B.C. (184) was down slightly from the previous year (185). Among the province’s largest cities, there were 1,292 police officers in Vancouver, just over 243 in Victoria, 212 in Abbotsford and 178 in Kelowna, which adds up to 196, 236, 146 and 138 police officers per 100,000 population, respectively.

The province is slightly below the national per capita rate of 190 officers per 100,000 Canadians. With a rate of 200, Saskatchewan had the highest rate for police strength among the provinces, while P.E.I. (153) had the lowest.

In 2016, nearly a quarter (22%) of police officers in British Columbia were female, the second highest proportion of any province or territory (Quebec recorded 26% in 2016). The percentage of female police officers in Canada has been increasing steadily over the past few decades. While females represented just four percent of all police officers in the country in 1986, by 2016, their proportion had grown to 21%.

Data Source: Statistics Canada