Only 3.8 percent of the population, Jews victims of 22 percent of hate crimes
Toronto, ON – The Toronto Police Service (TPS) has published their 2021 hate crimes report revealing that hate crimes targeting Jewish, Black, and East and Southeast Asian populations remained the most commonly reported to police, representing 22 percent, 18 percent and 16 percent of all hate crimes, respectively. Set to be presented to the TPS Board on May 2, the report notes 256 reported hate crimes in 2021, well above the ten-year average of 162. This represents a 22 percent increase over 2020, in which Toronto experienced a 50 percent increase in reported hate crime.
“We are concerned to see how severely hate crime is impacting Toronto’s Jewish, Black, East and Southeast Asian, and LGBTQ2S+ communities,” said Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “These numbers are emblematic of the hate that our communities face every day. But, we also know that hate crime is underreported, a challenge that we will continue working to address in partnership with TPS.”
The Jewish community remains the most frequently targeted minority group with 56 reported incidents in 2021. Despite being only 3.8 percent of Toronto’s population, the Jewish community was victimized in 22 percent of hate crimes in the city. Toronto Police believe the rise in hate can be attributed to international and geopolitical events, including the COVID-19 pandemic. This is consistent with the experience of the Jewish community, which has faced significant hate driven by antisemitic COVID-19 conspiracy theories and conflict in the Middle East. In response to these rising numbers and to better support the city’s marginalized communities, TPS is expanding its dedicated Hate Crime Unit and is working collaboratively with its Community Consultative Committees (CCC), including the Service’s Chinese CCC, LGBTQ2S+ CCC, and the newly formed Jewish CCC, each of which advises the Chief directly on how their communities can be best served. Additionally, in November 2021, TPS amended and updated its procedures to assist frontline officers and investigators in properly identifying, recording, and investigating hate crimes. This change also requires officers to ensure that victims are offered appropriate resources and support.
“We are thankful that Toronto Police Service, under the leadership of Chief James Ramer, has taken significant steps to address the deeply troubling rise of hate in our city. It is imperative for civic leaders to speak out and take action whenever hate rears its ugly head. It must be made unequivocally clear: hate has no place in Toronto.”
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