Hate crimes down in Canada, but majority motivated by religion - report

In 2018 there were 1,798 hate crimes, compared to 2,073 in 2017, as per the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

July 23, 2019 11:59
1 minute read.
Nazi flag flown in Canada.

Nazi flag flown in Canada.. (photo credit: screenshot)

Hate crimes are down in Canada for 2018, according to a report released this week by the Canadian Police.

In 2018 there were 1,798 hate crimes, compared to 2,073 in 2017, as per the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey. However, the number still represents an increase over previous years, when there were 1,409 in 2016, 1,362 in 2015 and 1,295 in 2014.
The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS), in cooperation with the policing community, collects police-reported crime statistics through the UCR Survey. The survey was designed to measure the incidence of crime in Canadian society and its characteristics.  

Religion continues to be the No. 1 cause for these crimes, according to the report. Some 639 (37%) of Canada’s hate crimes were motivated by religion. The report did not readily indicate which religion.

However, Barbara Perry, a professor and expert on hate crime, said recently in an interview that there is cause for concern in Canada due to a rise of hate groups in the country. She said there are a minimum of 130 active far-right extremist groups across Canada, which represents a 30% increase since 2015.

Most of these groups are organized around ideologies against certain religions and races, with anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiments being the most common, she said.

In the United States, a recent report by the FBI showed a 17% increase in hate crimes in 2017, with more than 21% of victims targeted because of their religion. 

Furthermore, in 2018 there were close to a thousand hate crimes in nine of the 10 largest US cities, up 14% from 2017, according to data compiled by the Center for Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino. 

The number of hate crimes reported to the New York Police Department in the first three months of 2019 was nearly double the number reported in 2018 during the same period – and most incidents were antisemitic. The NYPD said it received 176 hate crime complaints from January 1 to May 19, constituting an 83% rise.

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