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Toronto has seen a 'staggering' increase in hate crime reports since Israel-Gaza war: police chief


Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw is calling the spike in hate crimes in Toronto since the onset of the Israel-Gaza war on Oct. 7 “an alarming trend.”

Demkiw provided updated figures during a meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board on Thursday morning, which showed significant increases in both Islamaphobic and antisemitic hate crime occurrences.

He said that since Oct. 7 there have been 17 incidents of Islamophobic or anti-Palestinian hate crimes compared to just one during the same time period in 2022 (a 1600 per cent increase).

He said that antisemitic hate crimes in Toronto are up 192 per cent when compared to the same time period last year and account for nearly half (49 per cent) of all 79 hate crime reports received by Toronto police since the war began.

When compared to the same period in 2021 antisemitic hate crime reports are up 322 per cent, Demkiw said.

“These are our alarming trends in our city,” he said. “To combat these deeply concerning issues we have committed a significant number of resources to address these overall increases, as well as every category of hate.”

Demkiw said that Toronto police have increased the size of their hate crime unit from six to 32 officers since the war began.

He said that members of the expanded unit have in turn made 22 arrests and laid 58 charges in relation to hate crime reports.

The most common charges, he said, have included uttering threats, conspiracy to commit mischief and assault with a weapon.

Meanwhile, Toronto police have also seen a rise in reported incidents of hate-motivated graffiti.

Since Oct. 7, Demkiw said that there have been 280 hate graffiti occurrences that were either Islamaphobic or antisemitic. That is compared to just 21 during the same time period last year, he said.

“We will remain steadfast in our resolve to hold those responsible accountable,” he said. Top Stories


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