The Alberta RCMP is stressing that “hate has no place in Alberta” and is encouraging the reporting of all hate crimes and threats — including those directed at the gay and transgender communities.
A recent spike in hate incidents targeting 2SLGBTQ+ people is prompting RCMP to encourage all Albertans to report any hate-related incidents to police.
Rainbow sidewalks and murals were vandalized in Okotoks and Ponoka. There have been protests against 2SLGBTQ+ events in public libraries, schools and community centres. Other hate-related criminal incidents targeted various individuals and community groups across the province over the past year have also happened.
As a result, the Alberta RCMP is stressing the importance of Albertans reporting any actions, language or behaviour they suspect to be a hate crime or incident.
“The Alberta RCMP firmly believes that everyone should feel safe, and be treated with equality and respect,” states a release from Alberta RCMP media relations.
“We are committed to ensuring everyone we serve can live in communities free from discrimination and bias, and we take any action that threatens the safety and security of others extremely seriously. To be clear, the RCMP will follow up on all reports and if appropriate, charges will be laid.”
A hate incident or crime are actions committed against a person or property, motivated either partly or wholly by bias, prejudice or hate towards an identifiable group or community. This can be defined by real or perceived age, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
Hate-motivated actions can range from physical assaults or threats, to property damage or destruction (including graffiti with gay or transphobic slurs and hate symbols), to harassment and discriminatory comments.
“Even if you aren’t sure if an incident is illegal, you are encouraged to report it,” states the RCMP in a release.
Along with holding perpetrators responsible, reporting hate incidents allows the RCMP to provide victims with support services, potentially assists with other investigations, documents repeated behaviours, and sends an important message that these acts will not be tolerated in our communities.
“Hate has no place in Alberta. All communities deserve to feel safe and be fully included in all aspects of our society.”
If you see or hear any hate-motivated behaviours, report it by contacting your local RCMP detachment. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions). To report crime online, or for access to RCMP news and information, download the Alberta RCMP app through Apple or Google Play.