The Niagara Regional Police Service has launched a #StopHateNiagara campaign which it hopes will eliminate barriers to reporting hate incidents and hate crimes.
Police have dealt with a growing number of hate crimes in Niagara over the past few years and several this year, including a recent incident when pro-Russian graffiti was used to deface a residence supporting Ukraine.
The police also want people to know there is a difference between hate crimes (a criminal offence motivated by hate) and hate incidents (eg. racial and religious slurs).
Since early 2022, the Niagara police force has been working with community partners and the chief’s Community Inclusion Council on a campaign to address hate-related incidents in Niagara.
“The Niagara Regional Police Service takes incidents of hate and violence very seriously and will investigate them through our detective offices as well as our equity, diversity and inclusion unit,” Chief Bryan MacCulloch said in a media statement.
“We encourage anyone who experiences an incident of hatred to report it to police so that it can be properly investigated and addressed. Hate has no home in Niagara.”
Hate crime pamphlets with more information can be found at police district front desks.
The pamphlets have also been translated to French, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Farsi, Ukrainian, Hindi and Urdu. The leaflets will be provided to places of worship and community groups across Niagara.