Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Langley City spends the most on protective services of any community with RCMP in Lower Mainland. Does not address the root cause of crime.

Protective Services is the largest category of expenditures for municipalities in Metro Vancouver. These services include police, fire & recuse, animal control, search & rescue, emergency planning, and the like. In Langley, it also includes Langley Youth & Family Services.

Of these services, policing is responsible for the highest expenditures.

The provincial government compiles statistics on municipal revenue and expenses. The following table and chart show the most recent Protective Services costs for municipalities in the Lower Mainland with populations over 15,000.

Municipality Total Expenditures (2019) Population (2019) Per Capita
Pitt Meadows $7,661,410.00 19,924 $384.53
Mission $16,588,573.00 42,866 $386.99
Chilliwack $38,540,455.00 93,663 $411.48
Surrey $242,480,000.00 586,367 $413.53
Maple Ridge $37,845,703.00 91,311 $414.47
Coquitlam $66,602,459.00 150,571 $442.33
Langley Township $58,279,000.00 131,331 $443.76
Burnaby $112,906,833.00 254,289 $444.01
Port Coquitlam $29,035,785.00 63,659 $456.11
North Vancouver, City $26,595,372.00 57,808 $460.06
Abbotsford $76,897,000.00 159,717 $481.46
Richmond $103,444,086.00 213,678 $484.11
White Rock $10,762,811.00 21,037 $511.61
North Vancouver, District $48,661,859.00 90,266 $539.09
Port Moody $20,264,597.00 35,279 $574.41
New Westminster $46,923,131.00 80,292 $584.41
Langley City $17,443,222.00 27,769 $628.15
Vancouver $464,232,000.00 692,324 $670.54
Delta $76,009,951.00 110,155 $690.03
West Vancouver $35,647,458.00 44,141 $807.58

2019 Per Capita Protective Services Costs. Select chart to enlarge.

Municipalities with RCMP and a population over 15,000 have to pay 90% of policing costs while municipalities with their own policing service pay 100% of the cost.

Langley City spends per capita the fourth most on Protective Services for any municipality with a population over 15,000 in the Lower Mainland, and the highest for any municipality with RCMP.

Only Vancouver, Delta, and West Vancouver spend more per capita and have independent police services.

Comparable municipalities to Langely City include White Rock and the City of North Vancouver, which have RCMP and are smaller landmass regional centres.

One of the long-standing challenges in Langley City is community safety and crime prevention.

Spending more money on RCMP isn’t the solution. Social issues and crime have been and continue to be top concerns for residents. We have to address the root causes.

Langley provides innovative services like Langley Youth & Family Services, which helps youth with behavioural challenges by providing free counselling services.

A report from Surrey titled “Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention” points to what we should be doing to address the root causes of crime and violence. We must help our young people.

At a high level, this includes:

  • Addressing poverty
  • Supporting school attendance
  • Enhancing parenting skills
  • Promoting health behaviours
  • Providing positive, culturally appropriate mentors
  • Offering pro-social after-school activities
  • Strengthening cultural identity
  • Offering mental health services

These programs cannot happen piecemeal. In partnership with munipcaliities and school boards, the provincial government can help fund and coordinate programs to address the root causes of crime in communities.

Hiring more police only addresses the symptoms.

In Langley City, we must provide more support for youth in our community to help them stay out of a life of crime and violence.

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