Hate crime reports to Ottawa police were up nearly 57 per cent in 2020, rising from 116 cases reported in 2019 to 182 cases last year.
Twenty-four people were charged with 58 counts of hate-motivated offences in 2020, the Ottawa Police Service said in a release Thursday.
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Offences included assault, uttering threats, harassing communication, mischief to property and theft, police said. The Black, Jewish, east and southeast Asian, LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities were the most often targeted.
The force reinstated a hate crime unit in January 2020.
A hate crime is defined as a criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hate, bias or prejudice based on race, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation “or other similar factor.”
Members of the hate and bias crime unit monitor and triage incoming reports, aiming for a “timely, consistent and effective response,” Ottawa police said. Investigators aim to prevent hate-motivated incidents through public education and outreach and by gathering intelligence to address extremism.
“The Ottawa Police Service takes hate-motivated incidents very seriously and they are investigated to the fullest extent,” Acting Sgt. Ali Toghrol said.
“Hate, in any form, is not tolerated in Ottawa.”
Police again urged people to report hate-motivated crime to the unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 5015 or make an online report.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppers.ca.
This content was originally published here.