Greater civilian oversight, a new labour relations regime, continued pandemic and climate change disruptions, and increased public scrutiny were aspects of the RCMP's operating context in 2021-22. Broader external disruptions driven by societal changes, the environment, and technology were recognized and created the opportunity to examine traditional policing responses and continue the ongoing work to modernize the RCMP.
Hate crimes and those related to racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination against members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities, have seen a sharp rise in recent years in Canada – a trend that has continued during the pandemic. Progress on the critical issues of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and systemic gender and racial discrimination remain a high priority, both within and outside policing organizations. Dialogue on the role of police in Canadian society is continuing and will likely do so for years to come.
Recruitment of employees with the appropriate skills and attributes continues to be a challenge for law enforcement agencies. A diverse and highly skilled workforce is more important than ever to address the increasingly transnational and technological nature of crime, and to address complex socio-cultural challenges.
Climate change poses one of the most significant threats, with environmental disasters, record heat waves, melting ice caps, flooding, and forest fires contributing to increased displacement. Natural disasters are often associated with increases in some types of crime – such as family violence, sexual violence and thefts – with already vulnerable groups often most impacted. Indigenous communities, particularly in northern regions, are also disproportionately affected.
As the nature of crime changes, and disruptions increase in number and severity due to the above operating context, the RCMP is responding by proactively managing its evolving scope.
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