Vancouver police have opened 29 investigations into anti-Asian crime so far this year, compared to only four by this time last year.
Police have identified 77 “hate-associated” files so far in 2020, up from 51 during the same time last year, mostly driven by an increase in anti-Asian incidents.
“Despite police efforts, despite engagement with police and the community, these incidents still continue,” said Deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow at a news conference on Friday.
“We’re hearing other centres back east (and) across North America that are also experiencing this.”
The department has dealt with a swell in racist violence and vandalism in the city under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another 10 active files from April and May could be classified as hate-related in the coming weeks.
More officers will be patrolling in Chinatown, in addition to the surveillance cameras there and surrounding neighbourhoods.
“Hate is insidious. Right now, it’s anti-Asian, but it spreads like a virus and impacts us all,” Chow said.
Earlier this month, the Vancouver Chinatown Cultural Centre, just a block from the Millennium Gate, was defaced with racist graffiti.
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