StatsCan: Hate crime is up

06.07.11

The number of hate crimes reported to police increased by 42% between 2008 and 2009:

While hate crimes remain primarily motivated by race (and black Canadians remain the most-targeted by hate crime), the data also showed the number of reported hate crimes perpetrated against Arabs and West Asians doubled (to 75 from 37). There was also a 71 per cent increase in hate crimes committed against Jewish people.

Statistics Canada analyst Mia Dauvergne says two factors might have influenced the result: While there may have been a real increase in hate crimes, it is also possible that more crimes are being reported as police forces across Canada set up special hate-crimes units.

Regular readers of mine know of my general discomfort with hate crime legislation. We also know that these are the kind of statistics that, on their own, don’t mean very much; how a crime is reported is less about what happened and more about the circumstances involved.

But if this trend continues, it’s very disturbing. Especially when it leads to fostering of secondary hate, such as resentment between minority communities who are vying for the dubious label of “most victimized”.

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