Vancouver Is Seeing A Rise In Hate Crimes Amid Pandemic

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Racist grafitti

As Vancouver has seen one incident after another in recent months, Vancouver Police reported hate crimes are on the rise.

This comes as police are looking for a suspect who defaced the Chinese Cultural Centre with hateful graffiti, last month.

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“It’s disheartening to report that these types of crimes are ongoing during the pandemic,” said Constable Tania Visintin, VPD, in a news release. “Our department takes crimes with such hate attached extremely seriously. We will not tolerate this in our city.”

As the city prepares to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Vancouver during the month of May, locals are asked to acknowledge there have been increased incidents of hateful comments, vandalism and violence in our own city targeted at people of Asian descent.

History has shown that racism and discrimination are heightened in times of crisis. While various forms of racism, faith-based discrimination and stigmatization of people living in poverty continue, the global spread of coronavirus has triggered targeted and intensifying xenophobia and anti-Chinese/anti-Asian racism in cities around the world.

Vancouver Police have seen an increase in reports of “anti-Asian hate-motivated incidents,” in the last month.

They have received 15 reports for hate crimes in April, with 11 of those relating to anti-Asian sentiments. There has been 20 anti-Asian crimes in 2020 so far, compared to a total of 12 in 2019.

That includes a recent case, where a suspect attacked a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia.

And when B.C. first started getting COVID-19 cases, a man approached two Asian women to tell them they “dropped (their) Coronavirus.”

“Hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents are generally underreported,” said Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “We are making a plea to victims or people who witness hate crimes to please come forward and report the incidents to police so they can be investigated.”

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