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What case of the absurd or supreme hypocrisy by government, the Peel police join a HATE Crimes task force to help battle hate crime - in fact there should be a task force set up to battle the hate crimes being committed BY the Peel police! Click here.
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Mississauga News - May 23, 2007 - By Louie Rosella
Peel Police join hate crimes task force
Province kicks in $200,000
Queen's Park is going to help Peel Regional Police fight hate crime.
Ontario's Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter announced in Mississauga today major funding for a provincial task force aimed at battling the increase in hate crimes reported to Peel police.
The announcement, made at Peel police 11 Division in Erin Mills, comes less than two months after publication of a report that showed the number of hate crimes reported to Peel police is climbing.
The money will go to the Joint Forces Hate Crime and Extremism Investigative Team, comprised of officers from 11 police forces, including two from Peel. Local officers recently joined the provincial squad.
The team was formed four years ago. Members gather intelligence to prevent hate crime, and participate in public information programs with school boards and community groups.
Team leader Sgt. Don McKinnon, of the London Police Service, said the group's goal is to spot racism on websites, for example, and "prevent people from becoming victims" of hate crimes, an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.
"The team works together. We are primarily an intelligence gathering group. However, we will offer investigative and enforcement assistance when and where required," said McKinnon. "The Ministry's continued funding allows us to continue this valuable work in our respective communities. It is far better to prevent a crime than to solve one."
The Ontario government has already pledged $200,000 annually to the team.
"Ontarians have the right to live without fear of hatred and intolerance," Kwinter said.
Released earlier this year, the 2006 Annual Hate/Bias Motivated Crime Report showed Peel police investigated 71 hate crimes in 2006. This represents a 10 per cent jump from 2005, when 64 incidents were reported. In 2005, police investigated 54 such incidents.
The report was compiled by the Peel police Diversity Relations Unit.
Of the 71 incidents reported last year, 63 involved damage to property, typically graffiti. The remainder involved threatening, hate mail, racial slurs, assault, a neo-Nazi protest and theft.
Twenty of the incidents were anti-Semitic, while 19 targeted Afro-Canadians. The remainder targeted Americans, gays/lesbians, Muslims and South Asians, the report found.
Peel Det. Heather Andrews, who heads the Diversity Relations Unit, hopes initiatives geared towards educating the public about hate crime, including a Peel police DVD she's working on for newcomers to Canada, will lead to a decrease in the number of such incidents.
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