WHAT IS A HATE CRIME?

The Alberta Hate Crimes Committee defines a hate crime as:

Any criminal offence committed against a person or property, which is motivated in whole or in part by the suspects’ hate, prejudice, or bias against an individual or identifiable group based on real or perceived race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.

Hate Crime Examples:

  • Assault

  • Distribution of hate propaganda (see Supreme Court judgement Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott for a fulsome definition of hate propaganda)

  • ]Uttering threats (in person, via threatening phone calls or electronic communication)

  •  Property damage crimes: fire-bombing, destruction of religious property, graffiti and vandalism.

 

Download AHCC Hate Crimes Brochure
Download 2009 AHCC Hate Crime Report
Download the AHCC Guidelines for the Investigation of Hate and Bias Crimes

What is a Hate Incident?

A hate incident is an act motivated by hate or bias that are not criminal in nature,

but cause serious harm to individuals and communities.

Incidents can lead to violent or criminal behavior.

Hate Incident Examples:
  • Bullying motivated by hate, bias or prejudice

  • Saying racial or homophobic slurs or name-calling

  • Distribution of prejudicial material promoting hate such as hate flyers

  • Racist or offensive emails, jokes or other prejudicial actions

 

Reporting hate incidents are another vital tool in combating hate.

When in doubt, report all incidents to law enforcement authorities.

 

How Are Hate Crimes Different From Other Crimes?
  • Hate crimes are “message crimes” designed to instill fear and terror in an entire community

  • Only 1 in 10 hate crimes are ever reported to law enforcement officials

  • Hate crimes enhance feelings of victimization, vulnerability and fear

  • May promote community reactive crime (e.g., Vigilantism)

  • Can lead to copycat incidents

  • Hate crimes can polarize communities and prevent them from supporting each other

  • May enhance loss of trust and/or fear in law enforcement

  • Heighten security concerns at schools, home or places of worship

Check out this video from the University of Leicester that explains the consequences of hate.

Alberta Hate Crimes Committee initiatives are made possible by the support of:

  • Alberta Justice and Solicitor General

  • Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund

  • Calgary Police Service

  • John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights

  • Coalitions Creating Equity

  • REACH Edmonton