Policing Cost Reduction Strategies: An International Survey

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Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism

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In late 2007, the world experienced the worst financial crisis in more than 70 years. This article examines the results of a survey of 162 police agencies from Australasia, Canada and the United Kingdom and the approaches they adopted to maintain service delivery levels in the current fiscal environment. Nearly two-thirds of the agencies had experienced a decrease in their operating budget since 2007 and a number of agencies had experienced a change in their source of funding and in the amount of funding received. The decreases ranged from 5% to 20%. In response to the decreases, a number of agencies did not fill sworn vacancies, cut academy recruit classes and changed work schedules. Other agencies adopted strategies that included management structure reorganisations, the contracting of services and programs which limited the types of calls from the public to which an officer was dispatched.