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Anti-Asian hate crimes in Burnaby, B.C., have increased 350%: RCMP

RCMP said they have many officers who speak more than one language and can assist in any investigation. Global News

Anti-Asian hate crimes in Burnaby B.C. have risen substantially according to statistics released by the RCMP.

Police said hate crimes involving Asian victims increased from six reports in 2019 to 27 reports in 2020.

The offences range from property damage, including offensive graffiti, to threats and assaults, police confirmed.

In 2019, 30 per cent of hate-motivated offences had an Asian victim or target but in 2020, Burnaby RCMP said 63 per cent offences had an Asian victim or target.

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“We want individuals who belong to our Asian communities to feel comfortable,” Freda Fong, a Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking officer with Burnaby RCMP said in a release.

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“If you or anyone you know has been a victim of hate crime, the Burnaby RCMP is here to help.”

Read more: Hate crimes unit probing Vancouver assault after Asian woman’s hair pulled

RCMP said 120 of the 301 officers in Burnaby speak at least one additional language, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Malay, Thai and Japanese.

If needed, officers can be called to help translate when an investigation is underway.

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Burnaby is not the only city in B.C. dealing with a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

Statistics presented to the Vancouver Police Board in January showed anti-Asian hate crimes were up 717 per cent in the city in 2020 compared to 2019.

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Richmond RCMP is also investigating an assault at a Steveston coffee shop, which involved the hurling of racist slurs.

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