Toronto reports increase in hate crimes
By Blue Line Staff
By Blue Line Staff
In April, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) released its Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report, which showed an unprecedented increase in hate crime reporting in 2020. It showed a 51 per cent increase—139 in 2019 and 210 in 2020.
In 2020, the Jewish community, followed by the Black community, LGBTQ2S+ community, and the Asian/Chinese communities were the most frequently victimized groups. The number of anti-Asian hate crimes increased from three were reported in 2019 to 15 in 2020. There was also an increase in hate crimes committed online (eight in 2019 to 21 in 2020). There were 43 anti-Black hate crimes in 2020, an increase from 13 reported in 2019. Mischief to property, assault and criminal harassment were the most commonly reported criminal offences motivated by hate.
“Hate crimes not only victimize an individual but also the entire group they identify with. We know this can have a long-lasting impact on the diverse communities we serve, resulting in increased isolation, stress and vulnerability,” said TPS Chief James Ramer. “One hate crime is one too many. As a Service, we have taken steps to address this concerning increase by expanding the capacity of our dedicated Hate Crime Unit who are specialized in investigating these crimes.”
The service noted that officers have taken part in various training, educational and community outreach initiatives to address the issue, including town halls, community consultative committees and the Neighbourhood Community Officer Program. Community members are also being encouraged to report incidents of hate, prejudice and bias to police and work together with police to eliminate these crimes.
“We remain committed to working collaboratively within our Service and with our community partners in a transparent and inclusive way, to build trust and encourage the reporting of hate crimes,” said Ramer.