VANCOUVER Police on Friday announced a further increase in anti-Asian hate crime and hate-related incidents in Vancouver. Police have opened 29 investigative files for anti-East Asian crime. There were four during the same time period in 2019.
“Police raised this as an issue several weeks ago, to increase public awareness. However, I’m quite concerned about the continued increase in the number of crimes and incidents in our city,” said Howard Chow, Deputy Chief Constable, Operations, VPD. “In addition to the assaults that have been reported, the hateful graffiti on landmarks with cultural significance in Chinatown is hurtful and disturbing.”
To date in 2020, the VPD has identified 77 hate-associated police files. This is up from 51 at the same time in 2019. In addition, there are 10 active files from April and May that police are currently investigating that could potentially be classified as hate-related upon further investigation.
“Our detectives are continuing to prioritize the hate-related crimes that have been reported to us,” says Laurence Rankin, Deputy Chief Constable, Investigations, VPD. “Investigations are complex, and can take some time. We want to ensure we work to achieve successful outcomes in each investigation and appreciate the community’s patience and support.”
The VPD has initiated several measures to combat the increase, including further engagement with the Chinese community to raise awareness about how to connect with police; additional patrols on foot by police officers in Chinatown; and the placement of a public safety trailer, with cameras, in Chinatown and two other locations in the city.
Since hate crime is often under-reported, police are also working to reduce barriers that may exist for reporting. For example, the VPD is developing a system that will allow victims to report non-emergency incidents in Chinese.
Police are asking residents to report suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1.