Toronto police say hate crime incidents up nearly 55 per cent over last year

The Canadian Press
Toronto police say hate crime incidents up nearly 55 per cent over last year

TORONTO — The number of incidents Toronto police officers determined to be hate-motivated has gone up nearly 55 per cent compared with the same period last year, police said Monday.

Deputy Chief Robert Johnson told the Toronto Police Service Board that officers are responding to an average of five hate crime calls a day.

Antisemitism accounted for nearly 45 per cent of 221 alleged hate crimes so far this year – more than any other category, he said.

Johnson said that since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, police have responded to 1,378 calls for reported hate crimes, and 333 incidents were determined to be hate-motivated.

Officers have made 107 arrests and laid 268 charges related to alleged hate crimes in that time, the deputy chief said. The most common are mischief, assault and uttering threats, he said, adding 88 per cent were alleged crimes against property.

Chief Myron Demkiw said the force’s liaisons with the Jewish and Muslim communities have made dozens of school visits and presentations since October, and have met with religious and community organizations.

“As a city we continue to experience the impact of geopolitical events that are causing stress in our communities,” the chief told the board.

“Community engagement and building public awareness about our response to the stress our communities are experiencing is essential.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2024.

Share this article