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Hate crimes in Oakville highest in Halton Region

Halton Police | HRPS
Halton Police | HRPS

The rate of hate crimes in the region of Halton was higher in 2022 than the year prior; 40 were reported in 2022, compared to 31 in the previous year.

Oakville had the highest number, 17, followed by Burlington with 14. Milton had six, and Halton Hills had three.

Oakville also had four suspected hate crimes.

Halton Regional Police Service’s Chief of Police Stephen Tanner acknowledged the rise and said that "it is something [the HRPS] is continuing to monitor."

Tanner also claimed that a number of those incidents have been "cleared."

Authorities admitted that hate crimes and incidents are probably severely under-reported.

According to Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie, most of the hate crimes were public and private properties being vandalized with hateful graffiti, symbols, and slurs. Pride flags were stolen as well.

There were also 31 hate/bias incidents. Most of these types of incidents involved an individual using racial or ethnic slurs either online or in-person during a conflict.

Here are the number of times a certain group was targeted:

  • Black people - 21
  • LGBTQ+ members- 18
  • South Asian people - 11
  • Jewish people - 9
  • Middle Eastern people - 5
  • Muslims - 3
  • East Asian people - 2
  • European people - 2
  • Women - 1
  • Hispanic people - 1
  • Caucasian - 1

Most hate crimes and incidents were random in nature, said Wilkie, 'had no definable pattern, and were believed to be committed by individuals and not by organized groups."

HRPS claims that they are striving to curb hate crimes in the future by providing officers with "hate/bias crime investigation training" - something that all officers and staff received last year.

They also plan to keep a close eye on controversial or hateful incidents around the world that gain traction and popularity as it might spur individuals to commit acts here. Officers would then patrol certain locations and/or places of worship in advance as a preventative measure.