(OTTAWA) Operating expenditures for police services in Canada jumped 12% in 2021-22 from the previous year, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency specifies in data published Monday that in 2021-2022, the total operating expenditures of all police services in Canada amounted to 18.5 billion, in current dollars. These expenses included wages and salaries (67%), benefits (17%) and other operating expenses (16%).

Adjusted for inflation, total operating expenditures for police services amounted to $342 per capita in 2021-22 in Canada, 8% higher than the previous period.

An important reason cited by Statistics Canada to explain these increases is the establishment of the first collective agreement for members and reservists of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Retroactive pay, salary increases and employee benefit plan expenses increased total operating expenses.

Moreover, the rate of police officers recorded in Canada in 2022 continued its downward trend that began more than a decade ago.

Statistics Canada reveals that last year, there were 181 male and female police officers per 100,000 inhabitants in the country, down 1% from 2021. Although on May 15, 2022, there were 406 more police officers than in same date in 2021, or 70,566, the even faster growth of the Canadian population has led to a lower rate of police officers.

The federal agency has also observed that the representation of women in the police force has been growing steadily since 1986. That year, women represented just under 4% of the total police force, while in last year, 23% of the total number of sworn police officers were women.

Last year, there were 16,008 female police officers in Canada.

On the other hand, according to data from the 2021 Census of Population, the racialized population represented 26.5% of the population of Canada. A year later, among the police services for which this information was available, 8% of all police officers and 14% of recruits in Canada were racialized. At the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, racialized police officers represented 13% of the police force; this proportion was 7% in municipal police services.

Meanwhile, last year, 4% of police officers said they were Indigenous and 4% said they were rookies.