Toronto hate crimes spiked 41% in 2023 compared to a year ago: police

Toronto police are investigating after a man was pronounced dead from being shot on Toronto's Danforth Avenue Friday night. Toronto Police Service logo patch is shown in Toronto, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. Spencer Colby / The Canadian Press

A woman has been arrested following a hate-motivated criminal harassment investigation, in which police allege she was sending emails containing antisemitic language.

On Dec. 14, officers began investigating a report of criminal harassment.

According to police, on Dec. 4, the accused woman sent the victim multiple emails containing antisemitic language.

Police say the woman and the victim knew each other, and the woman was on a court order not to have any communication with the victim.

Then, on Dec. 11, police say the woman sent the victim additional emails also containing antisemitic language.

As a result of the investigation, a 36-year-old woman from Toronto has been charged with criminal harassment and two counts of failing to comply with conditions.

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Police say they are treating the incident as a hate-motivated offence.

This incident comes as reported hate crimes continue to increase in the city, according to new findings from the Toronto police.

On Tuesday, Toronto police chief Myron Demkiw revealed that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 17, 2023, there have been 338 hate crimes reported–an increase of 41 per cent compared to a year ago.

Between Oct. 7 and Dec. 17, 2023, Demkiw says there have been 98 hate crimes reported in the city, compared to 48 during the same time period in 2022. Of these incidents, 56 were antisemitic hate crimes and 20 were anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab hate crimes.

Toronto police say since Oct. 7, 2023, they have made 43 arrests and laid 96 charges related to hate crime incidents, with the most common charges including mischief and assault.

“We are steadfast in our resolve to ensure that Palestinian, Muslim, Jewish, all communities for that matter, are kept safe from acts of hatred and violence,” said Demkiw in a statement.

“While the Jewish, Palestinian and Muslim communities have demonstrated tremendous resiliency during these incredibly challenging times, as a police service we continue to be resolute; committed to ensuring public safety and security, while also ensuring that the constitutional right to free speech is maintained. This is a delicate balancing.

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“We will be relentless, indeed resolute, in our pursuit of those who perpetrate crimes against any group or community. Hatred will have no space in our city.”

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