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'Hate-motivated incidents' added to RCMP's online reporting in North Vancouver, Coquitlam

Police hope online tool will encourage reporting of racially-motivated events
Afterglow racial vandalism
Vandalism to a Afterglow advertising wrap that targeted only images depicting people of colour.

The North Vancouver RCMP has added a new tool to the way they fight potential “hateful incidents” in the community.

Starting this week, both the North Vancouver and Coquitlam RCMP detachments will add “hate motivated incidents” to concerns that can be reported online.

The RCMP define “hate motivated incidents” as incidents or encounters where a person is targeted based on a motivation of hatred because of their race, gender or sexual orientation, said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP.

Examples might include handing out flyers that contain negative references to an identifiable ethnic group or insults or poor treatment because of someone’s race or sexual orientation.

Such incidents don’t meet the threshold to be considered a hate motivated crime, said DeVries, but are still concerning.

“It’s extremely upsetting for the community to see these things. And it definitely affects people's sense of safety and security, particularly among those groups that have been targeted by these types of hate motivated incidents,” he said.

Although hate-motivated incidents are not crimes, police strongly encourage the public to report them, said DeVries, adding they can now do so quickly and easily via online crime reporting.

"We wanted to make these incidents easier to report because it is very important for police to investigate any incident in which there is an element of hatred, regardless of whether or not it brings us to the point where we have the authority to make an arrest,” said DeVries.

More serious hate crimes – which are illegal under the criminal code – include possessing or distributing hate propaganda intended to incite hatred publicly against identifiable groups, assaulting a person because of their race, sexual orientation or religion and vandalizing religious property. Hate graffiti that is anti-Semitic or hate-motivated damage to a business or place of worship are considered hate crimes, for instance. Those must still be reported by phone or in person.

Last month, Afterglow Physician Directed Medical Aesthetics reported a potential hate crime to police after a vinyl wrap at the entrance to a clinic location under construction in Lower Lonsdale was targeted by vandals, who scratched out several women’s faces featured on the advertising. In particular, only the non-white faces on the wrap were been attacked. That case is still under investigation.

DeVries said there hasn’t been any particular uptick in hateful incidents being reported to police in North Vancouver in general.

RCMP hope the ease of reporting will increase the likelihood people will inform police of incidents that they otherwise would not have reported. If the pilot project is successful, the ability to report hate-motivated incidents will be made available to other communities policed by the RCMP across British Columbia. Citizens with a valid email address can report hate-motivated incidents that occur in the City or District of North Vancouver.

Other problems that can be reported online include:

  • Damage/Mischief Under $5000 to Property;
  • Damage/Mischief Under $5000 to Vehicle;
  • Hit and Run to Unoccupied Vehicle or Property;
  • Theft of Bicycle Under $5000;
  • Theft Under $5000;
  • Theft Under $5000 from Vehicle;
  • Lost Property;
  • Driving Complaints; and,
  • Lost or Stolen Licence Plates or Decals.

To make a report using the RCMP's online crime reporting visit