Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Unit) : Hate Crimes Unit | Citizens Police Academy | Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Unit FAQs
Hate Crimes Unit
The Hate Crimes Unit (HCU) is part of the Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Unit and was established to provide support to both patrol officers and investigative units in the VPD.
The members of the Unit develop and deliver training for law enforcement personnel, liaise with community groups, and participate in education and prevention programs. They monitor bias-, prejudice-, or hate-motivated offences, and provide expertise relevant to the bias, prejudice, or hate component of the evidence and related legal provisions.
The Unit also provides knowledge of specific symbols, markings, or language, and how this information may be substantiated in court. This is particularly important when utilizing Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code, which allows for increased sentences to be considered where there is evidence that a bias-, prejudice-, or hate-motivated offence has been committed.
What is Hate Crime?
Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a hate / bias crime as a criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by the suspect's hate, bias or prejudice against an identifiable group based on the victim's race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.
What is Hate Propaganda?
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, there are two types of hate propaganda.
Section 318 Advocating Genocide
This section describes the offence of advocating or promoting genocide. Genocide is the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, any identifiable group, by:
- killing members of the group
- deliberately inflicting conditions on the group calculated to bring out the destruction of that group
An identifiable group is defined as any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. (Sexual orientation was added to this list in 2004.)
Section 319 Public Incitement of Hatred
This offence is committed in two ways:
- when a person communicates statements in any public place and incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace
- when a person communicates statements, other than in private conversation, that wilfully promote hatred against any identifiable group
Mischief to Religious Property
Section 430 (4.1) of the Criminal Code is used to specifically address crimes against places of worship. The Section is worded as such:
Everyone who commits mischief in relation to property that is a building, structure or part thereof that is primarily used for religious worship, including a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, or an object associated with religious worship located in or on the grounds of such a building or structure, or a cemetery, if the commission of the mischief is motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin is guilty of...