Crews worked to remove graffiti that was spray-painted on a new rainbow crosswalk in White Rock in August. There were 11 more hate crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation in B.C. between 2015 and 2016 (Aaron Hinks/ News Staff)

Greater Victoria ranks in top 10 Canadian cities for hate crimes

According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria’s hate crime rates more than doubled in one year

Greater Victoria has made the top 10 list for hate crimes in the Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA).

According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria – which consists of the entire Capital Regional District– had a jump of more than double its hate crimes between 2015 and 2016, from seven to 17.

While 17 hate crimes may not seem very high, when translated to a per capita basis of 100,000, Greater Victoria sat at 4.6, ranking 10th out of 33 other CMAs.

ALSO READ: Victoria’s Jewish community resilient after antisemitic incident

The top 10 cities rank as: Hamilton, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Guelph, Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto, Moncton, Montreal and Victoria.

This follows an overall national trend of a slight increase in hate crimes between 2015 to 2016, to total 1,409.

Nationally, police saw most hate crimes were motivated by race or ethnicity, with an increased targeting of South Asians, Arabs or West Asians, and a slight drop in targeting Muslims.

EDITORIAL: Vandalism shows need for rainbow crosswalk

There was also an increase in crimes targeting sexual orientation, with 11 more than the previous year in British Columbia.

Overall, B.C.’s hate crime increased from 164 to 211, with a focus on people of East or Southeast Asian and South Asian populations. This provincial jump was seconded only by Quebec.

Since 2015, the Westshore RCMP has investigated seven incidents of confirmed or suspected offences defined as hate crimes.

The Saanich Police Department was able to supply numbers of hate crimes from the past year and a half. In 2017 they had three reports of incidents flagged as possible hate crimes, and another three in 2018 so far. Of these three, two of them were comments posted via social media sites and one was an individual ranting through a public space, but not targeting anyone in particular. No charges were laid against anyone for these crimes.

Oak Bay did not have any reported hate crimes in 2017, and data was not accessible for 2015/2016 at the time of writing.

The crime analyst for the Victoria Police Department was unavailable to debrief any possible hate crimes at the time of writing.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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