Toronto police
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A new report by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) on local hate crimes in 2021 shows the city’s Jewish community remains the most targeted group amid a disturbing surge in such crimes. In its annual report of hate-motivated verbal threats, physical assaults and vandalism, the TPS said Jews were the most victimized group last year, experiencing 22 percent of all cases reported to police despite constituting just 3.8 percent of the population of Toronto..

According to the TPS, 2021 saw the highest number of crimes targeting people on the basis of ethnic or national origin for a 12-month period since it began collecting such data in 1993. The 2021 total of 257 hate crimes represents an increase of 22 per cent over the year before and is much higher than the 10-year average of 162 per year. The new data also revealed a dramatic increase in anti-Asian hate crime.

The latest figures are consistent with those of previous years which showed Jews as the group most targeted by hate crimes in Toronto. The TPS report follows statistics published earlier this week by B’nai Brith Canada which show that 2021 was a record-setting year for antisemitic incidents in Canada, with 2,799 recorded.

"The new TPS report is deeply disturbing, even if not surprising given the overall upsurge in antisemitism we’re seeing across Canada,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). “Yet again, Toronto’s Jewish community has the unwanted distinction of being the most targeted group of the city’s racists and bigots. Of course, we know the situation is even worse than the official statistics as many victims of hate crime never report them to the police, especially when it comes to the widespread antisemitism and other hate-filled content online. The report underlines the urgency of training and providing tools to police, as well as additional efforts by government officials and schools, to combat this scourge which undermines the very fabric of our diverse society.”

Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said: “We are concerned to see how severely hate crime is impacting Toronto’s Jewish, Black, East and Southeast Asian, and LGBTQ2S+ communities”

“These numbers are emblematic of the hate that our communities face every day. But, we also know that hate crime is underreported, a challenge that we will continue working to address in partnership with TPS.”