British Columbians feel that hate-motivated crimes have gone up since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a survey from Statistics Canada released Tuesday (June 9).
The survey asked three general question: Has crime in your neighbourhood increased; have harassment or attacks based on race, ethnicity and skin colour increased; do you feel unsafe walking alone after dark in your neighbourhood.
The survey found that 15 per cent of British Columbians, the highest percentage in any province, thought that hate crimes increased since the pandemic began.
Among all Canadians who identified as a visible minority, 18 per cent believed that hate crimes had gone up in that time period, while 12 per cent and 14 per cent of immigrants ad non-permanent residents, respectively, believe they have increased.
When divided by gender, eight per cent of men, six per cent of women and 22 per cent of non-binary people believed that hate crimes have increased.
Twenty-four per cent of British Columbians believe crime in their neighbourhoods has increased overall, the highest of any Canadian province.
In terms of feeling unsafe walking alone after dark, women were nearly twice as likely as men to feel less safe since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, with non-binary people even more so. Twenty-three per cent of women, 13 per cent of men and 31 per cent of non-binary people felt more unsafe now than they did prior to the pandemic.
Statistics Canada said that 43,000 people participated in the online survey between May 12 and May 25, but the agency warned that because it was crowdsourced the results were not necessarily representative of the greater population.
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