Economics of Policing

With the intention of updating ICURS’ 2005 “30 Year Costing Study,” the Economics of Policing (2014) project was designed to further understand police service, value for money and performance measures across sectors in British Columbia.

The specific goals of this study were:

  1. Identify, document, and analyze the range of activities and services involved in policing across Canada and especially in BC;
  2. Analyze and explain the activity and dollar costs of providing policing services over time; and,
  3. Project future trends in the economics of policing.

The data sources for this study included:

  • Government, police and academic publications
  • Federal, Provincial, and Municipal operational and infrastructure budgets
  • RCMP “E” Division (British Columbia) operating and infrastructure budgets
  • Transcription data from focus groups with expert and front line individuals, as well representatives from pertinent civilian organizations
  • Direct observation of police work
  • Updated criminal investigation flowcharts employed in the 2005 study

Findings indicate the demand for police services has been increasing over the past decade, particularly with respect to non-criminal calls for policing. The growing demand for police services to respond to persons with mental illness and/or substance use issues as well as the ever-changing technological demands further exacerbates the complexity and cost of policing.

For more information on the Economics of Policing (2014) study, please visit: