Richmond RCMP reports a significant decline in hate crimes for 2022

Richmond

2023-02-16 06:18 PST

photo of woman showing a police officer her cell phone with a man standing next to her

On Tuesday, February 14th, 2023, Richmond RCMP presented its Monthly Activity Report for December 2022 and Year in Review to the City of Richmond.

In it, Richmond RCMP reported a significant decline in ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents’ reported to police in 2022.

Overall, the number of reported ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents’ dropped by 24 percent, from 45 in 2021, to 34 in 2022.

Hate specific offences in the Criminal Code of Canada, include ‘advocating or promoting genocide’, and ‘inciting hatred.’ ‘Hate propaganda’ falls into these two categories. In Canada, ‘hate crimes’ include these offences, but they also include any criminal offence committed against a person or property, if that offence is motivated by hate. Whether it be based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor, ‘hate’ is one of many factors considered by the courts (judge or justice) during sentencing proceedings. That is, ‘hate’ is considered once an accused person has been convicted of a criminal offence.

Meantime, a ‘hate incident’ may be motivated by the same factors as a ‘hate crime’, but these are typically incidents where a criminal offence has not been committed. Derogatory, degrading and distasteful comments may fall into this category if there is no other criminal offence committed at the time.

Richmond RCMP recognizes that both ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents’ have a negative effect on our community, and we are committed to investigating all such complaints thoroughly.

While there was a very slight increase in reported ‘hate incidents’, an increase of two from 24 in 2021 to 26 in 2022, the most noticeable statistic was the significant decline in ‘hate crimes’ reported in 2022.  This number dropped from 21 in 2021 to 8 in 2022, which represents a 62% drop.

Richmond RCMP has been using a multifaceted approach to these investigations that not only meets federal and provincial policy guidelines, but also recognizes public expectations in the unique and culturally diverse community in which we serve.

Over the past few years, Richmond RCMP has also undertaken a number of proactive initiatives aimed at promoting tolerance and inclusion, while encouraging victims of hate-motivated incidents to report these incidents to police. These include the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Section, which works with various community partners to recognize the cultural diversity of our City while promoting acceptance, tolerance and inclusion. As part of the Richmond RCMP Community Engagement Team, the Diversity and Inclusion Section has access to a variety of resources including Victim Services, Block Watch and other volunteer programs, which all play an important role in victim resilience and recovery.

Last fall, in collaboration with the City of Richmond, Richmond RCMP also launched a Hate has no place poster campaign, which encourages victims and witnesses to call police. The poster itself reflects the City of Richmond’s diversity, as it incorporates nine different languages in efforts to cross linguistic barriers within our community.

Richmond RCMP’s membership also reflects the diversity within our community. Currently, nearly half of Richmond RCMP’s membership can speak a second language. While Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Hindi and French are the most common, Richmond RCMP officers are able to serve in twenty-nine (29) different languages or dialects in all.

Richmond RCMP remains fully committed to giving hate crimes and hate incidents our fullest attention and oversight, says Officer in Charge of Richmond RCMP, Chief Superintendent Dave Chauhan. The decline in reported incidents may suggest that Richmond RCMP’s no-tolerance approach to hate is working, but now is not the time to relax as a community. He adds, Richmond RCMP continues to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward to report these matters to us directly. By doing so, our investigators can get to work without delay, investigating them fulsomely in the first instance.

The latest report submitted by Richmond RCMP to the City of Richmond also noted a decline in anti-Asian related ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents.’ When combined, Anti-Asian ‘hate crimes’ and ‘hate incidents’ made up 52 percent of the reports to Richmond RCMP in 2020 and 61 percent in 2021. But in 2022, that number dropped to 26 percent.

C/Supt. Chauhan says, Although this is encouraging, we must remain vigilant, no matter who the victim may be. When a person makes a racist, homophobic or other abhorrent comment to a stranger, it may not meet the threshold of a criminal offense, but hate is not welcome in our community. We need victims and witnesses to continue reporting these matters to us so we can keep up the pressure. Hate has no place here.

Released by

Cpl. Ian Henderson
Media Relations Officer
Richmond RCMP
11411 No. 5 Road, Richmond, BC, V7A 4E8
Office: 604-207-4747
Cell: 604-765-4528

Email: richmond_media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Website: richmond.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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