Hamilton Police Release 2022 Hate Crime Statistics
Hamilton Police saw a 61 per cent increase in the number of hate/bias incidents and criminal offences compared to the previous year. In 2022, there were 174 hate/bias occurrences reported to Hamilton Police.
The majority of reported occurrences were directly related to racial bias, followed by religion and sexual orientation. Last year, the Black community, the Jewish community and the 2S&LGBTQIA community were the groups most frequently victimized.
“Hate crime affects our entire community,” said Chief Frank Bergen. “These crimes impact a sense of belonging, safety and wellbeing for victims and creates fear within our community.”
All events are classified by the Hamilton Police Hate Crime Investigator based on crimes and incidents reported to Hamilton Police. While there was a rise in the number of hate/bias occurrences, the true number is likely much larger since most incidents go unreported.
“The growing trend of anti-Jewish hate occurrences is worrying. There is a deep impact on the Jewish community that takes an emotional and physical toll. As a collective community, we must do more to stand against hate in any form,” said Gustavo Rymberg, CEO Hamilton Jewish Federation.
Reporting hate occurrences is an important step in stopping the cycle of hatred and preventing others from being victimized.
“While this rise in occurrences and crimes is concerning, it is encouraging that these incidents are being reported and captured. This data shows us the extent of how communities are impacted and certainly, for those communities like the Black community, we know many hate occurrences go unreported,” said Comfort Afari, Hamilton Black Health Community Leaders Forum.
Hamilton Police continue to encourage communities to report all hate/bias incidents to ensure police can respond.
“When we know about an incident, we can assign the appropriate resources to make our community safer,” said Hate Crime Investigator Fabiano Mendes.
Since 2019, Hamilton Police have implemented a number of proactive and strategic steps to prevent hate-related occurrences, encourage reporting and provide support to victims. These include:
- Presenting to community groups to increase awareness about hate occurrences and reporting
- Providing enhanced support to victims of hate through follow up with HPS Victim Services
- Training all new recruits on understanding, identifying, and investigating hate occurrences
- Developing a hate crime dashboard to provide real-time data regarding hate crimes and occurrences in Hamilton to enable focussed prevention efforts
- Expanding online reporting to include hate crimes
- Working to establish a Hate Crime Case Review Team in response to hate-motivated crimes in Hamilton
- Holding a Hate Crime Symposium in May with police and community members to discuss issues surrounding hate-related occurrences and support to victims of hate
- Incorporating the Hate Crime Unit with the EDI and Community Engagement Units to create a wrap-around response for hate crime occurrences and support to victims
“These numbers are troubling and speak to the need for us to work together to find solutions that tackle all forms of hate,” said Winsome Plummer, President of the Jamaica Foundation of Hamilton.
Hamilton Police Service is committed to investigating hate/bias motivated crimes and incidents to ensure Hamilton remains a safe place to live and work.
“We all have a responsibility to call out hate. By working collaboratively, we can make sure we have a unified response in supporting victims and addressing the root causes of hate. Together, we can make a difference,” said Chief Bergen.
The full Hate Crime report can be found at: https://pub-hpsb.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=2516.