The Peterborough Police Service has created an online form for residents to report hate bias incidents.
The form is available on the Peterborough Police Service Online Reporting Portal or directly here: Hate Bias Incident Form.
Police say a hate bias incident is behaviour that is not a criminal act but is motivated by bias against an individual or group based on racial, religious, ethnic or sexual orientation, as well as disability and more.
It becomes a criminal act (hate crime) if they directly incite others to commit violence against the individuals or groups or if they pace them in fear of their safety, police said.
Police say the online option is a means to reduce barriers in reporting.
“Any form of hate is intolerable,” stated acting police chief Tim Farquharson. “The hope is that reducing barriers to report such incidents will lead to more accurate reporting and a better understanding of the incidents in our community so resources can be directed accordingly.”
In an emergency situation, police advise to call 9-1-1, or in the event of non-emergency call 705-876-1122.
“Police can help to defuse potentially dangerous situations and prevent hate-motivated criminal behaviour by responding to, and accurately documenting hate-motivated speech or behaviour even if it does not rise to the level of a criminal offence,” police stated.
In March 2022, a report from Statistics Canada showed the Peterborough area had the highest rates of police-reported hate crime among census metropolitan areas (CMA) in 2020.