Hate Crimes

Hate Crime Research Brief

Researcher: Raghad Ebied

What is a hate crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offence against a person or property that is based on:

  • Race
  • Country of origin
  • Ethnicity
  • Skin colour
  • Religion
  • Sex or gender
  • Age
  • Disability (physical or mental)
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Any other similar factor(s)

Hate crimes can include assault, sexual assault, murder, threats, harassment and property damage (mischief). 1

Why do we have Hate Crime Laws?

Policing Standards of Ontario Policy

“The impact of such crimes is far reaching, extending beyond the physical and emotional trauma to the victim, to encompass other members of the groups and broader community. Such crimes can heighten the isolation and vulnerability of the victim’s group and cause stress for all members of the community. If unchecked, these crimes can result in a escalation in social tensions between different groups that can destroy communities, thereby furthering the aims and objectives of those in our society who promote hatred and intolerance”

How are hate crimes tracked?

Hate crimes are tracked based on Canadian Center for Justice Statistics (CCJS) within our general occurrence reports. The threshold for definition of hate crime can include graffiti of a hateful nature in a public place (i.e. a permanent marker of a swastika on a light standard), or someone shouting a racial comment from a passing car, someone leaving hateful phone messages and incidents of vandalism to religious buildings (this year there was a case of a religious statue of the Virgin Mary being destroyed at a church).

Canadian Criminal Laws Relevant to Hate Crimes Criminal Code of Canada:

4 offences

  • Advocate Genocide – section 318 C.C.
  • Public Incitement of Hatred – section 319(1) C.C.
  • Willful Promotion of Hatred 319(2) C.C.
  • Mischief to Religious Property 430 (4.1)C.C. Sentencing Principle – section 718.2 a(i) C.C.

Hate Crime Identification:

  • Statements made by the suspect
  • Perception of the victim
  • Offensive symbols and words
  • Date and time of the offence
  • Location of the offence
  • History of the suspect
  • Manner of the crime
  • Historical animosity

Interview Notes with Amira El-Ghawaby: Communications Director – NCCM (National Council of Canadian Muslims)

What needs to be done to address hate crime in our communities?

“Police services should be doing outreach around what is a hate crime and NCCM has done that as well so it’s good to partner with police.  Barriers to reporting hate crime [also need to be addressed] – how easy it is to report? There should be an online form because people may be shy to call, or go to police or have police come to their home.  There should be more outreach for community and also more training for police.”

What is the impact of hate crime on a community?

“It’s a crime against an entire community – raises a fear and potential exclusion of an entire community so they do require community support and response .  Up to 2/3rds of hate crimes are not reported nationally.  According to Stats Canada, there is an increase in hate crimes in targeting muslims that’s not seen in other communities”

Consultation with Saleha Khan, Diversity Officer, City of London

The London Police Service does have a hate crime investigator with the Street Crime Unit.  Historically the hate crime investigator role is investigative and not necessarily public awareness and outreach.   There has been hate crime training conducted for a group of women which was initiated by Naseem Mithwani under Hikma Group.  It is expected to do one more larger one now.  Police receive training consistently.

Additional Info:

For a list of “six things the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Police Service and the federal government could do right now to ensure our communities remain as inclusive and as safe as possible for everyone”, please see the following article “It takes a Village to Combat Hatred- Here’s How to Do it: http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/farber-and-elghawaby-it-takes-a-village-to-combat-hatred-heres-how-to-do-it

 

Sources:

1- http://www.londonpolice.ca/en/crime-prevention/Hate-Crimes.aspx

Hate Crime Presentation S/Sgt. Dave Zackrias Diversity & Race Relations Unit, Ottawa Police Services.

Interview – Amira El Ghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims

Consultation –  Saleha Khan, Diversity Officer, City of London

“It takes a Village to Combat Hatred- Here’s How to Do it: http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/farber-and-elghawaby-it-takes-a-village-to-combat-hatred-heres-how-to-do-it