Thursday, July 18, 2024

Hate crimes down across Ottawa amid significant rise for Jewish, Muslim communities

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The Ottawa Police Service is reporting a slight decrease in the number of reported hate and bias-motivated incidents, compared to data from this time last year, but saw a significant increase in incidents against the Muslim and Jewish population.

Police say reported hate crimes are down two per cent compared to statistics from 2023 to date. So far this year, there have been 225 reported total hate-motivated incidents. There were 230 reported hate crimes by this time in 2023.

Seventy-four incidents targeted the Jewish community in 2024, compared to 36 in 2023, an over 100 per cent increase. Incidents against Muslims also rose over 100 per cent, with 15 incidents in 2024 compared to seven in 2023.

Police and politicians have been sounding the alarm over the significant increase in antisemitic and anti-Muslim incidents across Canada since the start of the Israel-Hamas War on Oct. 7, 2023.

Of the reported hate crimes this year, 174 have been deemed criminal and 51 have been determined to be hate-motivated, but non-criminal. Twenty-six people have been charged with 65 counts of hate-motivated offences, with four formal warnings under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

In addition, there were 36 incidents against Ottawa’s Black population, 24 against the LGBTQ+ community and 14 against the Arab population (made up of West Asian, Middle Eastern and North African people) so far this year.

“The OPS Hate and Bias Crime Unit is actively working with the Crown Attorney’s office to fully investigate all reported incidents,” police said in a news release on Monday.

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