Hate/bias motivated crimes are criminal offences or incidents motivated solely or in part because of the suspect’s hate, bias or prejudice against another person based on the victim’s ancestry, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Reporting hate/bias motivated crimes and incidents are important in stopping the cycle of hatred and preventing others from being victimized. It is also important for police to be aware of hate/bias motivated crimes and incidents so that appropriate actions can be taken such as putting resources in place to make our communities safer.
When should I report a hate/bias motivated crime online?
- The incident occurred in Hamilton
- You are not in danger. If it is a crime in progress, call 911.
- You have a valid email address
- You can provide the incident address information
Filing a false police report is a crime.
Please disable any pop-up blocking software or plug-in before filing an online report.
Why should I report a hate/bias motivated crime or incident?
It’s important that all hate/bias motivated crimes or incidents are reported so police can investigate and develop proactive strategies aimed at reducing hate/bias motivated crime.
We recognize some community members may not be comfortable attending a police station or reporting directly to a police officer. The new online hate/bias motivated offences reporting tool allows citizens to report these incidents without having to attend a station.
Hamilton Police want to hear from you. You can also report a hate/bias motivated incident by calling 905-546-4925. If this is an emergency, dial 911.
What is a hate/bias motivated crime?
In order for police to lay a hate/bias motivated criminal charge, there are two things that must first occur:
- A criminal offence must have occurred (e.g. an assault, damage to property, uttering threats etc.).
- Hate or Bias toward a victim must have motivated the criminal offence (e.g. because of the victim's race, nationality, ethnic original, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation etc.).
What is a hate/bias motivated incident?
A hate/bias incident may be motivated by the same factors but does not reach the threshold of a criminal offence. These incidents may include name calling, racial insults, or the distribution of material containing hateful language.
Can graffiti be a hate/bias motivated offence?
Graffiti is a chargeable offence and can be considered a hate/bias motivated crime if it:
- Targets any identifiable community group or organization
- Is found in or near a religious institution or an affiliated community recreation area
- Is found on commercial property that is affiliated with a community group
What is the difference between hate/bias motivated crime and other crime?
Penalties: If convicted of a criminal offence and it is proven to be motivated by hate or bias, higher penalties may be imposed by the judge during sentencing.
How do police determine if my incident will be considered a hate/bias motivated crime?
Police must balance Constitutional Rights with the Criminal Code of Canada which makes investigations very complicated.
Before laying some hate/bias motivated criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada, police are required to conduct an investigation and then turn the file over to the local Crown Attorney's Office and get consent from the Attorney General's Office.
The following is a list of Criminal Code Charges that require consent before charges are laid:
Section 318 - Advocating Genocide.
Section 319 (2) - Wilful Promotion of Hatred.
What happens when I submit my online report?
We take all hate/bias motivated incidents very seriously. All reports are reviewed by the Hamilton Police Hate Crime Unit.
If you do not want the incident investigated further, the information provided will be recorded for statistical purposes.
If you indicated that you would like an investigator to follow up, you will receive further contact by email.
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