The Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety
An initiative of the University of Regina Office Of The Vice-President (Research)

Economics of Community Safety

Governments at all levels are grappling with the challenges of increasing demands on police services at the same time that their budgets are threatened with cuts. Although Canada’s economy has weathered the financial crisis that started in 2008 with fewer disruptions than in the United Kingdom or the United States, there are signs that global economic conditions, especially in the European Union, continue to be uncertain and those challenges could have a substantial impact upon economic conditions in Canada. Economic uncertainty can have an impact on all government services, including policing.
 

Austerity Policing
In this project the research team will review the economics, management, and policing literatures to identify current trends in respect to the relationships between economics and policing, including how police services in other nations have managed austerity.
The RAND cost of crime calculator was introduced in 2010 as an instrument to be used by US police stakeholders to better understand the value proposition of policing. There are a number of shortcomings to this model that make it less efficient in estimating the benefits of policing in Canada. The investigators will identify how the calculator could be modified to inform provincial policing by a) adding additional offences to the calculator; b) updating the instrument using the results of cost-benefit and officer effectiveness research published since 2010, and: c) considering benefits to society other than reducing serious crimes (e.g., reducing traffic accidents).
The project is scheduled for completion Summer 2014

Publications:
Published fall 2014 by University of Regina professors Rick Ruddell, Ph.D. and Nicholas Jones, Ph.D., Austerity Policing: Responding to Crime During Economic Downturns documents the difficulties and challenges faced by police forces operating with less funding and resources.

Published summer 2014 by University of Regina professors Rick Ruddell, Ph.D. and Nicholas Jones, Ph.D., The Economics of Canadian Policing Five Years Into the Great Recession aims to identify current trends in relationships between economics and policing as part of a proactive strategy to enable Canadian police agencies to plan well for the future.

The Changing Economy and Demography of Saskatchewan and its Impact on Crime and Policing