Wednesday, July 28, 1999

Canadian Press

p. A17.

Cops overworked

TORONTO -- The workload of police officers across Canada has more than doubled over a 36-year period, according to figures compiled by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

At a time when Canada has achieved its lowest crime rate in 20 years, the average Canadian police officer is grappling with a workload that has increased an average of 19.7 Criminal Code cases a year in 1962 to today's annual 46.2 cases.

"There's no doubt about it, police are working harder now than they worked in the past," says Julian Roberts, a University of Ottawa professor who specializes in crime trends.

"They are overworked."

And a continuing decline in police officers suggests the trend will continue.

"The number of police officers per capita dropped for the seventh consecutive year in 1998, to 181 officers per 100,000 population -- the lowest since 1970," notes the CCJS.

"Over these seven years, Canada's population has grown eight per cent, while the number of police officers has decreased four per cent."

Paul Culver, chief Crown attorney for Toronto, says he's seen it take its toll on officers.

"One of the biggest workload factors for police was the Supreme Court of Canada decision that obligated Crown attorneys to make full disclosure," he says.

"In the past, police would just prepare enough to make the Crown's case, and now they have to prepare everything."

-- Canadian Press

Toronto Police clippings... [Fiona Stewart]

Created: August 6, 1999
Last modified: August 6, 1999

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