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Anti-Asian hate crimes: 29 cases in Vancouver so far this year, compared to 4 last year

VPD admit no charges laid in connect to growing number of hate-crime cases
VPD admit no charges laid in connect to growing number of hate-crime cases

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.

Vancouver police sound alarm over increase in anti-Asian hate crimes
Vancouver police sound alarm over increase in anti-Asian hate crimes

“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.”

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The department has dealt with a swell in racist violence and vandalism in the city under the COVID-19 pandemic.

VPD investigate 77 hate-associated police files fueled by pandemic
VPD investigate 77 hate-associated police files fueled by pandemic

Another 10 active files from April and May could be classified as hate-related in the coming weeks.

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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.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Vancouver’s Chinatown hit with more racist graffiti

Earlier this month, the Vancouver Chinatown Cultural Centre, just a block from the Millennium Gate, was defaced with racist graffiti.

Chinese-Canadian community encouraged to report hate-crimes
Chinese-Canadian community encouraged to report hate-crimes

Several incidents of racist verbal abuse, as well as racially-motivated physical assaults, have been reported in recent weeks.

WATCH: ‘They can expect the full weight of the law to come down upon them’: B.C. premier on racist acts during pandemic

‘They can expect the full weight of the law to come down upon them’: B.C. premier on racist acts during pandemic
‘They can expect the full weight of the law to come down upon them’: B.C. premier on racist acts during pandemic