The number of Police Service operational staff per capita has fallen nearly 4% since 2013-14, from 296 per 100,000 people in 2013-14 to 285 per 100,000 people in 2019-20 (see chart below). That’s according to the very useful and somewhat underappreciated resource for policy analysis which is the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services, the 2021 edition of which was released progressively over late January and early February. You can find the data I’m quoting in the data tables (specifically Table 6.A2) for Part C Justice, Section 6 Police Services.
I’m not a criminologist and, hence, won’t speculate on whether the decline in police per capita has contributed to Queensland’s increase in youth crime and its tragic consequences, but these are obviously important data points which should figure in the public discussion on crime and the justice system in Queensland.
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