Toronto: Jews most targeted group in hate crimes

Toronto, Canada – While Toronto witnessed a drop in the number of hate crimes in 2015, the Jewish community continued to be the single-most targeted victim group. However, the total number of instances were fewer than the previous year.

2016-03-21-22-06-07-1819106207According to the Toronto Police Service 2015 Annual Hate/Bias Crime Statistical Report, 31 occurrences involved Jews – plus one that targeted an Israeli.

Altogether 134 incidents were reported to police in 2015, a drop of 8.2 per cent from the 146 occurrences the year before.

In 2014, Jews, were also the single most targeted group, with 44 occurrences reported. The 31 incidents in 2015 represent a 29.5 per cent drop from the number in 2014.

The Jewish community makes up 3.8 per cent of the city’s population, as measured by religious affiliation, yet in 2015 were victimized in nearly 24 per cent of the religiously motivated incidents.

Most of the incidents involved mischief to property, such as anti-Semitic graffiti or vandalism. Apartment buildings, schools and public places, such as laneways, were the most common location for mischief offences.

Only 21 charges were laid against 19 persons in 2015, and only three of them were related to mischief offences.

Joel Reitman, co-chair of Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Toronto, said, “Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that the Jewish community finds itself once again disproportionately targeted in reported hate-crimes in Toronto. This is hardly an anomaly, which is why the security of our community is CIJA’s top priority. We offer a wide range of free services to ensure that Jewish institutions, their staff, and our community members are well protected. These services include security assessments, security briefings and tailored training sessions for security personnel.

“We strongly encourage staff and volunteers in the Jewish community who hold security-related responsibilities at their institutions to go to our website to learn more about the resources that are available,” Reitman added.

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