East Asians in Vancouver, Canada is facing an increase in anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes against them because of the coronavirus. According to The Globe And Mail, hate crimes against East Asians in Vancouver have risen in the last two months. Police said they will increase their efforts to target hate crimes.
In April, eleven hate crimes against East Asians were reported. This was a sharp increase from the five hate crimes reported in March. In total, for the year, twenty hate crimes against East Asians were reported vs the twelve for all of last year.
“It’s a really difficult time right now, not only is everybody dealing with this [pandemic], but now this specific race is targeted, and it’s awful,” department spokesperson Constable Tania Visintin said. “This type of crime is underreported, and that is concerning.”
Police released their statistics while asking the public for help in catching a suspect who allegedly vandalized the Classical Chinese Garden. The white man is alleged to have tagged threatening racist messages onto the building. “Kill all,” and “Let’s put a stop to ch**ks coming to Canada shoot them on the spot” were two of the messages.
Visintin said officers with the diversity unit are out in public educating people about what constitutes a hate crime and how to report it. However, she said she did not know if their hate crimes unit will add more officers as it currently stands with one investigator.
The director of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, Susan Eng, said they are trying to gather as much information on the incidents. She heard of many Asians in Canada being harassed and spat on by racists. She hopes to start a campaign to prevent such behaviour.