The ACT's number of operational police per head of population remains the lowest in Australia, with the trend line largely unchanged despite policing costs increasing by over 2.3 per cent since 2018-19.
As the smallest physical jurisdiction in the country, the ACT reported a sworn operational staff of 696 police, which is almost half that of Tasmania's. However, Canberra's ratio of operational staff per 100,000 people is 206, compared with the island state's 265.
The latest Report on Government Services (ROGS) revealed that total staff numbers in ACT Policing had climbed by six people in 2019-20 compared with 2018-19, from 993 to 999.
Added were five sworn, operational staff available to perform front-line duties.
The ACT's low police-to-population ratio has been a continual thorn in the side of the association which represents the members.
The police executive repeatedly describes staffing levels as "a matter for government", while government describes it as a matter for police as it pays $170 million a year for the Australian Federal Police to provide the community service and steps away from day-to-day operations.
In its most recent Bluestar magazine, the association proposed to ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan that while the preferred team ratio of sergeants to constables is often stated as one to 10, the ACT's real number - at an operational level - is one to three because of police leave, court commitments, mandatory training and administrative duties.
Deputy Commissioner Gaughan told the association "this is not something they [the members] just have to accept," but flagged the need to explore new ways of freeing up resources.
While general policing outcomes and crime reporting rates in the ACT were comparable with elsewhere in Australia, the latest report flagged some anomalies.
Most notable was the pace at which the ACT finalised some types of investigations.
For instance, just 28.7 per cent of sex assault cases reported in the ACT were finalised in less than a month. This compared with 41 per cent in Queensland and 36.2 per cent in Victoria.
Just 28.7 per cent of sex assault cases reported in the ACT were finalised in less than a month. This compared with 41 per cent in Queensland and 36.2 per cent in Victoria.
For armed robbery in the ACT, it was 20.7 per cent.
With property offences the issue was even worse, with just 3.7 per cent of unlawful entry with intent cases in the ACT finalised before 30 days, compared with 9.5 per cent in neighbouring NSW and 20.9 per cent in Queensland.
The report found only 5.7 per cent of ACT stolen car cases were finalised within a month.
However, the ACT compared favourably with other jurisdictions when the same vehicle theft was linked to an identified offender, and the case then finalised.
Public perceptions of how satisfied the Canberra public is with its police fell by a few percentage points, as did the public's satisfaction in contacts with police over the 12-month reporting period.
Of the 2400 Canberra people sampled for the report, 11 per cent were "totally dissatisfied" with their dealings with police in the 12 months, an increase over the previous period.
Regardless, public perceptions of safety in the ACT are the highest in the country, with 92.3 per cent of Canberrans feel "totally safe" at home alone at night, well above the national average. ACT residents also felt safer catching public transport, both during the day and at night, than residents in any other state or territory.
Speeding cars in their neighbourhood were more of an issue to ACT residents than illegal drugs.