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  • In 2009, Canadian police services reported 1,473 hate crimes, an increase of 42% from the previous year. These types of incidents accounted for less than 1% of all crimes known to police and represented a rate of 5 incidents per 100,000 population.

  • The 2009 increase in police-reported hate crime was driven primarily by a higher number of incidents in four of Canada's largest census metropolitan areas: Ottawa (+83), Toronto (+79), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+62) and Montréal (+61). The number of hate crimes in a given area can be influenced by victims' willingness to report incidents to police as well as local police service practices and awareness campaigns.

  • While the number of violent hate crimes rose in 2009, the increase in the number of non-violent hate crimes was more substantial. Overall, mischief was the most common type of hate crime, accounting for more than half (54%) of all incidents. Incidents motivated by sexual orientation were more often violent, at about three-quarters (74%) of all such incidents.

  • Race or ethnicity was the most common motivation for police-reported hate crime (54%) in 2009, followed by religion (29%) and sexual orientation (13%). These proportions have remained relatively stable since 2006, when near-national police-reported hate crime data first became available.

  • With 272 incidents, Blacks were the most commonly targeted racial group in 2009, accounting for 4 in 10 racially motivated incidents reported by police. Hate crimes against Arabs or West Asians doubled from 37 incidents in 2008 to 75 in 2009.

  • Seven in ten religiously motivated hate crimes were committed against the Jewish faith in 2009. Hate crimes targeting the Jewish faith rose 71% between 2008 and 2009. Hate crimes against the Muslim faith (Islam) also increased in 2009, up by 38%.

  • For both victims and persons accused of hate crime, the rate peaked among those aged 12 to 17 and generally decreased with increasing age. This finding is consistent with results from previous years.

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