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Crime rate, case load per officer, cost per capita for policing in Delta below B.C. average: report

Data from Public Safety Ministry’s 2021 Police Resources in British Columbia report, released late 2022
A recently released report on police resource levels shows the Delta Police Department performs well compared to other B.C. municipal police departments, with a crime rate, cost per capita and case load per officer all below the provincial average. (Delta Police Department graphic)

Delta performs well compared to other B.C. municipal police departments in terms of resourcing, according to a report released by the DPD last month.

The Delta Police Department monitors two key performance measures annually at the provincial and national levels: Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Police Resources in British Columbia (PRBC) report.

The CSI is the only measure to compare crime consistently across the country and is calculated based on both the amount and the seriousness of the offences reported to the police. Index scores are compared to a baseline of 100, which is calculated using historical data, and a low CSI rate is indicative of a relatively safe community.

The latest CSI data, released in August of 2022 and covering 2021, shows Delta’s CSI was 57.6, up just over a per cent from the previous year and well below the provincial average of 92.6.

READ MORE: Crime severity in Delta up one per cent in 2021: Stats Can

The PRBC report for 2021, released in December of 2022, details resource data for all municipal police departments and RCMP detachments in B.C., though due to differences in funding models between municipal police agencies and the RCMP, the report presents the data separately.

Using the PRBC report, the DPD can compare itself with the other 10 municipal police departments in B.C. within the context of resources, using data such as the ratio of population to police, crime rates, caseload per officer and overall department funding.

In 2021, the average number of residents per officer for all municipal departments in B.C. was 573, up by two from 2020, while in Delta the number was slightly higher at 583.

“Delta’s low ratio, compared to most other agencies, can be attributed to lower density and Delta’s large geography,” according to a DPD press release. The Vancouver and Victoria police departments also had low ratios — 516 and 456, respectively — however, “theirs are due to urban settings and ambient and daytime populations compared to their suburban counterparts.”

The average cost per capita for all municipal departments was $448, and while Delta was below the average at $394, it was the third costliest after Victoria and Vancouver ($570 and $515, respectively).

The average crime rate (the number of Criminal Code offences, excluding drugs and traffic, reported for every 1,000 residents) for municipal police departments in 2021 was 57, and Delta fell significantly below that average with a crime rate of 38 — 4,337 Criminal Code offences compared to the provincial average of 81,642.

Only Oak Bay (23), Central Saanich (25) and Port Moody (26) had lower rates.

The case load per officer in Delta (22) was also lower than the average (33). Once again, only Oak Bay (16), Port Moody (17) and Central Saanich (20) had lower case loads per officer.

“Overall, Delta performs well in resourcing comparison, with a crime rate, cost per capita, population per officer and case load per officer lower than the average of B.C. municipal departments,” according to a DPD press release.

“The Delta Police Department appreciates the benefit of continued support by the Police board and mayor and council in ensuring that the organization is properly resourced to provide excellence in community services.”

SEE ALSO: Latest RCMP stats indicate crime drop in Surrey

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James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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