Report: Canadian police investigated less than 1% of hate crimes in 2019

New data suggests the vast majority of hate crimes in Canada experienced by the Jewish community and other groups are never investigated.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

Canada
Canada
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Newly released figures from Statistics Canada reveal that the country’s police only investigated 1 percent of hate crimes in 2019.

The figure is startling given that Canadians self-reported 223,000 hate-motivated incidents during that year.

“We are in the middle of a hate crime crisis,” Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told CTV News.

The Anti-Hate Network – chaired by former Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber with a mission to "monitor, research, and counter hate groups by providing education and information on hate groups to the public, media, researchers, courts, law enforcement, and community groups – published an analysis of Statistics Canada data, coming to the conclusion that the vast majority of hate crimes in the country were not being looked into by law enforcement.

The organization found there was a “startling disparity” between self-reported hate crimes and those reported and investigated by the police.

According to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, report data for 2019 showed that the highest proportion of hate crimes took place in Ontario (33 percent), Quebec (28 percent) and Albert (14 percent).

During that period, police only reported 1,951 hate crimes, with only 1 percent of self-reported hate crimes ending up in police-reported statistics.

“This means that, in Canada, you’re more likely to be the victim of a hate crime than be injured in a motor vehicle accident (140,801 in 2019),” said the organization.

Over half of hate crimes reported involved violent attacks, while a quarter were vandalism type incidents, and 17 percent involved theft.

Noting that nearly 80 percent of hate incidents were not reported to the police, the group explained that the police may take a report but it doesn’t always mean it will be counted in the statistics.

“At any point the police can decide they don’t consider a complaint to be a hate crime, or that they can’t or won’t fully pursue it. It gets subjective. The numbers the police report forward are only those that get their stamp of approval,” they said.

“While the police data is flawed, it suggests a largely consistent year-over-year increase in hate crime with a large 37 percent spike in 2020, the most recently available data. This increase in in-person hate has occurred in tandem with an increase in online hate.”

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network noted that they have been saying for years that “police-reported hate crime statistics do not measure hate in Canada, and that we need a real way to measure hate incidents so that we can reduce their number.”

To that end, they called on all political parties to commit to an action plan to address the increase in hate crimes.

The Jewish community has been one of the most frequently targeted groups for hate crimes in Canada.

In July, the Canadian government held a national anti-Semitism summit, during which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “good intentions are not enough” to combat Jew hate.

In August, B’nai Brith Canada launched the country’s first hate incident reporting mobile app. The app allows for the real time reporting of hate incidents along with photos.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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