Hate crime incidents against Asians in Vancouver have increased by over 700% in 2020, a report presented to the local police board last week revealed.
The statistic is included in an annual review, which is also composed of figures in sex offenses, robberies, culpable homicide and assaults, reports CTV News.
Anti-Asian specific hate crimes spiked the highest at 717%, with 98 incidents in 2020, growing from just 12 reports in the year before.
The majority of such reports came in May and then slowed since the summer, according to Vancouver Police Department representative Const. Tania Visinitin.
“The trauma and psychological impact from these incidents trumps everything,” she was quoted as saying.
British Columbia’s (B.C.) premier John Horgan finds the alarming rise in attacks to be deeply troubling.
Today’s crime stats from Vancouver show anti-Asian hate crimes are up 717% over the past year.
This is deeply troubling.
Our work includes moving forward on anti-racism legislation, but there’s more for all of us to do in our stand against racism and hate in all its forms.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) February 18, 2021
“We need to make sure that violence against people of color is not just treated as violence, but in fact hate crimes, which carry much stiffer penalties,” Horgan said last week, according to Global News.
“There’s more difficulty in prosecutions but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t follow through and make sure that people understand in B.C. if you’re going to turn against people of the color of your skin, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That’s the message Minister Farnworth is delivering and I expect law enforcement to follow-up on that.”
Despite Horgan’s earlier pronouncements, only one hate charge was approved in 2020 as defined in the Criminal Code, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service.