Hate crimes: 2 more Metro Vancouver cities warn of significant increase in reports
People gather at an anti-Asian hate crime rally in Vancouver on March 27, 2021.
VANCOUVER -- Police in two more Metro Vancouver cities say they've noticed a significant increase in hate crimes in their jurisdictions.
Both Burnaby RCMP and Delta Police issued statements Thursday about the rise in reports.
In Burnaby, Mounties say 2020 saw a 350 per cent increase in hate crimes involving Asian victims. While six of those crimes were reported in the city in 2019, the RCMP says 27 were reported the following year.
"Throughout the past year, our officers have continued to monitor this increase," said Supt. Graham de la Gorgendiere, in a news release.
"These offences range from property damage, including offensive graffiti, to threats and assaults."
The detachment also said it's noticed an increase in the proportion of hate crimes targeting Asians compared to other hate crimes. In 2019, 30 per cent of hate-motivated incidents had an Asian victim or target, police said. In 2020, that rose to 63 per cent.
"When notified of a possible hate crime, our officers are instructed to respond and conduct a thorough investigation," de la Gorgendiere said.
"Victims of these offences can be reassured that their complaint will be taken seriously."
Meanwhile, police in Delta say they've also noticed more reports of hate crimes in their city. Officers said from March 29 to April 10 alone, 10 suspected hate-crime incidents were reported to police.
"In all of 2020 Delta police recorded 12 instances of suspected hate crimes," said Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu in a news release.
"This year we have seen 15 incidents of hate crime from January through to mid-April."
In that city, however, it doesn't appear hate crimes specifically targeting Asian people are increasing. Police say of the 10 most recent incidents, racial slurs and anti-Semitic graffiti were the most common behaviours.
The reports ranged from racial slurs being yelled in public, to instances of graffiti, to an assault that resulted in a minor injury to the victim.
Burnaby and Delta aren't the only cities noticing an uptick in these reports. Vancouver police have raised concerns over the increases in hate crimes – especially those targeting Asian people – over the past year.
In that city, hate crimes were up 97 per cent in 2020 over the previous year. Anti-Asian hate crimes specifically were up 717 per cent. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/hate-crimes-up-97-overall-in-vancouver-last-year-anti-asian-hate-crimes-up-717-1.5314307
When those figures were released, B.C.'s premier said the statistics were "deeply troubling."
"Our work includes moving forward on anti-racism legislation, but there's more for all of us to do in our stand against racism and hate in all its forms," John Horgan said on Twitter.
Police in Delta, Burnaby and Vancouver are urging residents to report these incidents when they happen.
“We recognize that hate-motivated incidents are too often not reported in Canada, Sidhu said. "We strongly encourage everyone to report any and all known or suspected incidents to police."