The National Police Federation (NPF) is calling on the next federal government to increase funding for the RCMP after years of flatlining resources.
According to the NPF, which represents 20,000 RCMP officers across Canada, demand for police services has grown 20% since 2017, however, federal government support has failed to meet demands.
Despite the increasing pressure to meet expectations with limited funds, the RCMP has been able to curb rural crime in Alberta’s remote communities.
“When governments and the RCMP work together on local issues and resources, such as hiring more officers as was the case for the Crime Reduction Strategy, it creates a measurable improvement,” said NPA President Brian Sauvé.
“It all goes back to resources. The measures already in place were just a stepping stone. More investment is needed to address resource issues. Oftentimes Members are serving massive areas. For example, it can be a three-hour drive to respond to an emergency incident. Response times decrease with added resources.”
“One of the issues driving this proposed change is the notion that rural crime can be fixed with a better community model, but what’s needed is more resources. Improvements from the rural Crime Reduction Strategy makes that clear,” Sauvé added.
While on the campaign trail, the Conservatives have blasted the Trudeau government for failing to properly equip police with needed resources and ignoring issues important to voters in rural communities who are disproportionately impacted by crime.
“I asked the prime minister a question on rural crime and I got an answer that was a nothing answer. I challenged (Public Safety Minister) Bill Blair on rural crime… I’ve sent letters recently to the minister of agriculture on the drought conditions and the challenges to the ranchers,” said Conservative Candidate Gary Vidal in an August interview on the matter.
The Liberals have claimed that under the former conservative government police were underfunded and had to close investigations as a result of cuts.
Most recently, Liberal candidate Bill Blair falsely claimed that due to cuts, the RCMP had to close hundreds of organized crime investigations. A True North fact check found Blair’s statements to be untrue.
In reality, Public Safety Canada noted in 2013 that it had exceeded and met performance targets for that year and that crime rates actually fell under the Conservatives.