Hate crimes in Alberta on the rise: OPV study
The number of hate crimes in Alberta is on the rise, according to a new study.
The Organization for the Prevention of Violence (OPV) performed a government-funded study that found more than one third of Albertans reported experiencing a hate crime in the past three years. Visible minorities, however, are far more likely to be subjected to hate, the study found.
The survey used a broader definition of hate compared to the criminal code. The study looked at experiences that didn’t need to have been escalated to police or pursued criminally as a hate crime.
This allowed OPV to collect a much more holistic representation of hate in the province, since things like racial slurs often aren’t dealt with on a criminal level, said Michele St. Amant with OPV.
“In our general survey we found that around a little over a third of Albertans experienced any kind of hate incident or experience of hate, but that increasingly gets higher when we look at visible minorities. So, in our representative survey, nearly 50 per cent of visible minorities say that they’ve experienced hate and we also found visible minorities are the most likely to experience violent incidents of hate,” explained St. Amant.
They key to preventing hate crimes, St-Amant said is education in schools and workplaces, and improved translation services for reporting crimes, as suggested by the survey respondents.
Stats Canada data shows Alberta ranks fourth in the highest number of increases in hate crimes from the previous year.
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