by Morinville Online Staff
In a move to combat hate-motivated incidents and crimes, Albertans now have the option to report such incidents online through the Online Crime Reporting portal available on the Alberta RCMP website or via the Alberta RCMP app. This development aims to empower victims and concerned citizens to come forward and report instances of hate-motivated actions, which often go unreported due to fear or discomfort.
Reproting enables law enforcement to stay informed about the challenges impacting communities across the province. Equipped with this knowledge, the police can offer support and devise proactive measures to ensure the safety of all Albertans.
Distinguishing between hate-motivated incidents and hate crimes is crucial to understanding the nature of these offenses. A hate incident refers to a non-criminal action driven by hatred, bias, or prejudice directed towards an individual or group based on characteristics such as color, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual identity, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, or similar factors. In contrast, a hate crime constitutes a criminal offense motivated by hatred, with one or more of the aforementioned characteristics as its basis.
Examples of hate-motivated incidents include the use of racial slurs or offensive symbols. Often overlooked because they are non-criminal, these incidents leave lasting impacts on victims and communities. The repercussions include psychological trauma, feelings of shame and humiliation, and even community-wide unrest. Victims and those with similar identities may experience fear, isolation, and damage to their sense of belonging.
The newly introduced online reporting option empowers victims and community members who may not feel comfortable making a phone call or visiting a detachment in person. Importantly, individuals can also report on behalf of others, offering additional support for those who require assistance or who may not feel comfortable reporting themselves. This alternative reporting avenue serves as a valuable tool for gathering information about hate-motivated incidents, potentially identifying individuals involved in hateful activities and providing opportunities for early intervention to prevent the escalation of such behavior.
Cpl. Mohamad Khaled, Alberta RCMP Hate Crimes Coordinator and a member of the Alberta RCMP Diverse Community Engagement Unit, emphasized the commitment to bias-free policing, saying, “Alberta RCMP firmly believes in bias-free policing and ensuring that all Albertans feel safe. Part of feeling safe is feeling seen and heard, which is why Alberta RCMP works directly with marginalized people and communities to ensure their needs are met.”
In cases of immediate danger related to a hate crime, individuals are urged to dial 911. Otherwise, individuals can report hate crimes by contacting their local detachment’s non-emergency line or by visiting the detachment in person.
For those wishing to report a hate incident, options include phoning the local detachment’s non-emergency line, visiting in person, or utilizing the Online Crime Reporting portal available at https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/alberta/en or through the Alberta RCMP app.