Crime Prevention and Policing Services Model Review
In 2016, nearly 200 police partners and many Islanders participated in a review of Prince Edward Island's police services by consultants Perivale + Taylor. It was the first such review in 40 years.
A total of 10 recommendations from the Crime Prevention and Police Service Model Review will be implemented over the next 12 to 18 months. Government will work with police partners on additional recommendations to improve policing standards across the province.
Policing in Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is policed by the RCMP “L” Division with five detachments, and by three municipal police departments – Charlottetown, Summerside, and Kensington. There are also security police officers at UPEI in Charlottetown, and enforcement services are provided by conservation officers attached to provincial government departments.
PEI has a relatively low crime rate compared with other jurisdictions. Similarly, the rate of crimes per officer is relatively low.
There is a need for an efficient, effective and cohesive approach to policing in PEI. This includes a more integrated, mutually supportive relationship between police agencies.
A vision for cohesive police services in PEI
Police services must provide an integrated web of community safety, which includes:
- Crime control
- Maintenance of order
- Community-based policing
- Strategic and intelligence-led policing
- Extra vigilance in protecting those most vulnerable in society and understanding the root causes of crime
- Proactively addressing community problems and police resources in the most effective and targeted manner
- Partnerships in crime prevention strategies
A cohesive and integrated approach to police services will ensure quality policing services are delivered to all Islanders, regardless of police agency.
How do we proceed?
By using existing police services and resources, and introducing appropriate, Island-wide policing standards, we can address the foundational objective to provide quality policing services for all Islanders. Government will review and determine a common and integrated set of standards for policing in PEI.
Decisions regarding the police services model are being deferred to permit the provincial government, police partners, and municipal governments
to work on enhancing alignment for a more integrated, cohesive service to Islanders.
Policing strategies must be harmonized, with the appropriate oversight and accountability to ensure community safety, officer safety and crime prevention.
Improving cohesiveness and integration of the current police services
Based on the recommendations, the Government is moving forward with the following responses over the next 12-18 months. Government will also work with partners to explore additional recommendations.
Recommendation 3: Provincial Acts
Government will work with partners to review and amend necessary legislation to contribute to the integration, cohesiveness and effectiveness of policing and public safety services.
Recommendation 4: Integrated Island Operations Communications System and police radio systems
Government will direct all police agencies to operate on the provincial public safety mobile radio system.
Within the next year, government will evaluate the requirements to establish a provincial, integrated Operations Communications System
Recommendation 5 and 6: Integrated police records management
Government will direct all police agencies to adopt a single, integrated records management system.
Once the integration is complete, government expects that an audit of Occurrence and Serious Crime Investigative Database (OSCID) will no longer be required.
Recommendation 7: Establishing security standards
The migration to Major Case Management and integrated teams will provide the opportunity to obtain necessary nationally recognized security clearances for sworn police officers. Implementing the integrated Operations Communications System will introduce the civilian employee security clearance requirement.
Recommendation 9: Statistical reporting
Government will make police services statistical reporting mandatory.
Recommendation 10: Mandating an Island-wide strategic plan
Government will work towards this, in partnership with municipal governments.
Recommendation 11: Integrated services
Government will work with partners to create specialized police service teams in areas such as:
- Major case management
- Forensic identification services
- Integrated collision reconstruction
- Police dog services
- Emergency response team
Recommendation 12: Criminal record checks
Government will establish provincial guidelines for civilian criminal records checks.
Recommendation 17: Consulting Islanders
The review received feedback from Islanders through a phone survey and online submissions. Developing an Island-wide policing strategic plan will require further consultation. The phone survey can be revisited in 3 to 5 years to measure progress against the initial findings.
The remaining recommendations (recommendations 1, 2, 8, 13 to 16) require further consultation with our partners, and will be revisited in phase two of the response.
About the consultation
Perivale + Taylor spoke with representatives from municipalities, police services, and community partners.
Through a phone survey of 400 Islanders over the age of 16:
- 82% strongly agree that they feel safe in their communities during the day. 61% felt safe at night;
- the greatest concerns of those surveyed were ‘break and enters’ and ‘drug related offences’;
- 21% surveyed said they had no crime concerns;
- police response time and community outreach were important factors for those surveyed; and
- overall, 75% of respondents believed that the police in PEI do a good job, and an additional 22% felt police do an average job.
There was also an online survey, and while it was not statistically valid, the responses echoed those in the phone survey.