Statistics Canada’s new weighted system for tracking the rate at which Canadian police solve crimes crowns the regional police service in Codiac, New Brunswick, an RCMP detachment, as tops in the country. Codiac police solved 46% of crimes in 2008, according to the latest Police Resources in Canada report (released December 14, 2009).
Top crime solvers in Ontario are Durham Regional Police, serving the Oshawa-Whitby area, with a clearance rate of 45.5%. Some other highlights from the new policing report:
• there are now more than 67,000 uniformed police officers in Canada
• growth in police strength in 2008 was the third largest annual increase in 30 years
• Canadians spend more than $11 billion annually on police
• Saskatchewan has the most police officers per capita, while P.E.I. and Alberta have the least
• the weighted clearance system (see previous post for an explanation of this change), appears to have boosted the solve rate for some police departments
• the new, weighted clearance rate nationally is 37.6%, meaning roughly six of every 10 crimes is unsolved
Keep in mind that police can mark a crime as cleared, or solved, even without laying a charge. If they have enough evidence to lay a charge, but don’t or can’t for some reason – if the perpetrator is dead, for example – they can still mark that crime solved. Most crimes also remain listed as solved if an accused is later acquitted.