Toronto Police Service’s 2018 Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report (document)

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Toronto Police 2018 Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report

On April 1, 2019 Mark Saunders, Chief of Toronto Police, presented the 2018 Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report to the Chair and Members of Toronto Police Services Board.

Here is the Executive Summary of this report:

The Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Statistical Report is an annual report that provides statistical data about criminal offences that are committed against persons or property which are motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on the victim’s race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or other similar factor within the City of Toronto.

The report explains the mandate of the Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit (HCU) and the methodology that is used by the HCU to collect the statistical data. The data is based on hate crimes that were reported to the Toronto Police Service, hereafter referred to as “the Service” between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.

The report also provides an overview of the training and education that was provided to the Service’s police officers with respect to hate crimes in 2018, as well as the various community outreach initiatives that were undertaken by the HCU and other units within the Service.

In 2018, there was a decrease in the total number of hate crime occurrences reported to the Service. In comparison to 2017, the number of reported occurrences decreased from 186 to 137 representing a difference of approximately 26%. Over the past ten years, between 2009 and 2018, the average number of reported hate crimes is approximately 148 per annum.

The number of arrests related to hate crimes in 2018 decreased from 23 persons arrested in 2017 to 18 persons arrested in 2018. As in previous years, the number of arrests for hate motivated offences was attributed to allegations of mischief to property (i.e. graffiti) in circumstances where there was little or no suspect description available. These occurrences frequently transpired without the victim or any witnesses present. These factors present significant challenges to the investigation into hate motivated offences and arresting suspects.

In 2018, the Jewish community, followed by the Muslim community, the Black community, and the LGBTQ community were the groups most frequently victimized. The three most frequently reported criminal offences motivated by hate in 2018 were mischief to property, assault and utter threats. The Jewish community was the most frequently victimized group for mischief to property occurrences and utter threat occurrences. The Muslim community was the most frequently victimized group for assault occurrences.

There are multiple factors that can affect fluctuation in the number of reported hate crimes and the community groups that are victimized. These factors include international events, community educational programs, hate crime training, and increased reporting.

When more than one identifiable group (i.e. Catholic and Ukrainian) was targeted in an incident the occurrence was categorized as multi-bias. In 2017, 27 of the 186 hate occurrences were categorized as multi-bias. In 2018, 21 of the 137 hate occurrences were categorized as multibias.

An identifiable group is defined by the Criminal Code as, “Any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability”.

In 2017, the Criminal Code definition of identifiable group was expanded to include gender identity or expression as a result of Bill C-16. Hate crimes motivated on the basis of gender identity or expression are captured by the Service under the sex category.

In 2014, the Canadian Center for Justice Statistics (CCJS) published the Hate Crime Consultations and Recommendation Report. One of the recommendations made in this report was for police services to report hate crimes targeting members of the Transgender community under either the sex and/or gender category for the purpose of comparability across jurisdictions.

For the purpose of uniform crime reporting across Canada, the Service adopted the CCJS recommendation. Hate crimes targeting members of the Transgender community have been categorized under the sex category since the 2014 report. Prior to 2014, the Toronto Police Service Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report categorized hate crimes against members of the Transgender community under the sexual orientation category.

Since the publication of the first Hate Crime Statistical Report in 1993, hate crimes have been most commonly motivated by the following five factors: race, religion, sexual orientation, multibias, and nationality.

To read the full version of the report click here.