Hate crimes reported in Richmond almost doubled in 2020

Hate crimes double

Hate crimes reported to Richmond RCMP almost doubled last year, with 21 files in 2020 compared to 11 in 2019.

There were also more “hate incident” files – not considered a Criminal Code offence – in 2020: 13 were reported to police while there were only nine in 2019.

In the first three months of 2021, five hate crimes have been reported to Richmond RCMP as well as 10 “hate incidents.”

While the number of hate crime files in 2020 was a lot higher than in 2019, in fact, the previous year saw almost as many with 19 hate crimes and four hate incidents reported to police in 2018.

A report to Richmond city council explains that "When a person makes a racist, homophobic or other abhorrent comment, it is not a criminal offense and police are generally unable to pursue an extensive criminal investigation. These occurrences are often classified as 'hate incidents.'"

Previously, the RCMP has explained that some incidents have “racial undertones” but aren’t criminal offences, so they are aren’t considered hate crimes, rather police call them “hate incidents.”

Incidents that promote genocide and inciting hatred, including distributing hate propaganda, are considered offences under the Criminal Code.

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