Police-reported hate crimes, 2013
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Canadian police services reported 1,167 hate crimes in 2013, or 3.3 hate crimes per 100,000 population. This represented a 17% drop from 2012, as 247 fewer hate crime incidents were reported to police. The annual decline was mainly attributable to a 30% decrease in non-violent hate crime incidents, primarily mischief.
In 2013, three primary motivations accounted for 95% of hate crimes. Hate crime motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity represented about half (585 or 51%) of all hate crime incidents, followed by religious hate crimes (326 or 28%) and crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation (186 or 16%).
Between 2012 and 2013, there was a 17% decline in police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity, with 119 fewer incidents reported. The decline was greatest for hate crimes targeting Arab and West Asian (-16 incidents) and Black populations (-40 incidents). Meanwhile, there was an increase in reported hate crimes targeting East and Southeast Asian populations (+11 incidents) as well as White populations (+9 incidents).
There were 93 fewer religion-motivated hate crime incidents reported in 2013 compared with 2012, down 22%. The decrease occurred for hate crimes targeting every religious group except Muslim populations (+20 incidents).
There were 186 police-reported hate crime incidents in 2013 that were motivated by sexual orientation, one more than a year earlier.
Although the number of hate crimes reported by police declined from 2012, some characteristics of these crimes remained constant. For example, among hate crimes related to race or ethnicity, Black populations were still the most frequently targeted (22% of hate crimes of all types). For religiously motivated hate crime, there has also been little change over time, with hate crimes targeting Jewish populations still the most common (16% of hate crimes of all types).
Mischief is the most common police-reported hate crime
Overall, the majority (60%) of hate-motivated crimes reported by police involved non-violent offences. Mischief, which includes vandalism, graffiti and other forms of property destruction, was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes, making up half of all hate crime incidents. This was especially true for religious hate crimes, where 72% were mischief offences.
The number of non-violent hate-motivated crimes fell 30% from 2012 to 2013, driving the overall drop in hate crimes. Much of this change was attributable to fewer incidents of mischief (-29%).
In 2013, 4 in 10 hate-motivated crimes were violent. These were primarily incidents of common assault or uttering threats. Among all hate crimes, those motivated by hatred of sexual orientation most frequently involved violent offences (66%), compared with 44% of crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity and 18% of crimes motivated by hatred of a religion.
Most police-reported hate crimes occur in major cities
The majority (87%) of police-reported hate crimes in Canada occurred in major cities (census metropolitan areas [CMAs]). The 10 largest CMAs in Canada, which are home to just over half of the Canadian population, accounted for 71% of police-reported hate crimes in 2013.
Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver accounted for 43% of police-reported hate crime incidents in 2013. These three CMAs, however, did not have the highest rates of police-reported hate crime. The highest rates of hate crime in 2013 were in Thunder Bay (20.9 per 100,000 population) and Hamilton (17.4 per 100,000 population).
Note to readers
Police-reported hate crimes refer to criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are determined to have been motivated by hate toward an identifiable group. The incident may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or other factors such as profession or political beliefs.
Police-reported hate crime data have been collected on an annual basis since 2006 and, since 2010, data cover 99% of the population of Canada.
Fluctuations in the annual number of incidents can be influenced by changes in local police service practices and community involvement, as well as the willingness of victims to report incidents to police. The number of hate crimes presented in this release likely undercounts the true extent of hate crime in Canada, as not all crimes are reported to police. Self-reported victimization data from Canadians suggest that about one-third (34%) of incidents perceived by respondents to have been motivated by hate were reported to police.
The Juristat article "Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2013" (Catalogue number85-002-X) is now available. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and Justice, and Juristat.
Data on hate crime for 2013 are now available for police services across Canada reporting to the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.
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