IN January 2020, the Ottawa Police Service reintroduced a hate crime unit, which allowed for a specific focus on hate-motivated incidents.
A hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by hate/bias or prejudice based on race, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, or other similar factors.
Officers in the Hate and Bias Crime Unit monitor and triage all incoming reports and ensure a timely, consistent and effective response to all hate-motivated incidents in the city.
Last year, investigators focused on the prevention of hate-motivated incidents through public education, outreach and the development of intelligence to address extremism. Hate crimes reports were up by 56.9% – from 116 cases reported in 2019 to 182 cases reported in 2020.
The most serious violations seen by Ottawa Police were:
- Mischief to property
- Threats/utter to person
- Theft under $5000
- Harassing communication
The groups most victimized were:
- East and South-East Asian
Reported incidents in 2020 resulted in 24 people charged with 58 counts of various hate-motivated offences.
“The Ottawa Police Service takes hate-motivated incidents very seriously and they are investigated to the fullest extent,” said Acting Sergeant Ali Toghrol of the Hate and Bias Crime Unit. Hate, in any form, is not tolerated in Ottawa.”
More information about hate-motivated incidents can be found online.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a hate-motivated crime, report it to the Ottawa Police Hate and Bias Crime Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5015 or online.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca