Police costs soar as crime drops, Toews says

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI AGENCY)

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI AGENCY)

David Akin, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 2:19 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews warned leaders of the country's police forces Wednesday that they need to "get ahead of the curve" in controlling the ballooning cost of maintaining safe streets and communities.

In 2010, all levels of government spent about $12 billion on police services.

"Over the last decade, the volume and severity of reported crime have both been on the decline," Toews said in a speech here.

"This has added fuel to the debate among Canadians, who rightfully want to know where and how their tax dollars are being spent."

As a first step, he called for more clarity on how municipal and provincial agencies spend their money on police activities and said performance measures were not well-developed.


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