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  • Winnipeg Tribune

Winnipeg Police Investigate Surge in Hate Crimes as Tension Continues to Rise

Winnipeg, October 26, 2023 - The Winnipeg Police Major Crimes Unit is currently embroiled in a series of active investigations related to hate crimes that have surged in the city over the past month. The incidents have ranged from property damage to a shooting, with a common thread being the hate-driven motivation behind these acts.

In the month of October alone, the Winnipeg Police Service responded to multiple reports of suspected hate-motivated crimes. The incidents included property damage, where residences in the city's southwest area were targeted with eggs, and graffiti sprayed on a shed in close proximity to a school and place of worship in the River Heights area.

One of the most alarming incidents occurred on October 22, 2023, at around 4:30 a.m., when residents of a River Heights neighborhood heard the shattering of their front window. Investigation revealed that the window had been shot out. Although no residents were harmed, the home displayed a visible religious symbol near the front door, leading investigators to suspect a hate-motivated crime.

The Winnipeg Police Service is taking these incidents seriously, actively pursuing leads and urging the public to come forward with any information. If anyone has information related to these incidents or wishes to speak with investigators, they are encouraged to call 204-986-6219. In case of an emergency, individuals should dial 911, and for non-emergencies, they can call 204-986-6222. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Winnipeg Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-8477.

These cases fall under the four offenses outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada, specifically dealing with hate propaganda. In cases where there is evidence indicating hate or bias motivation, the courts can impose more severe punishments, reflecting the gravity of these offenses.

However, the surge in hate crimes is not the only challenge the Winnipeg Police Service is facing. Counter-protests happening in our city recently are draining police resources significantly. These protests, while constitutionally protected forms of expression, have led to increased tension, potential violence, and a strain on police resources that are crucial for responding to other emergency calls. Police said at one protest, one side started throwing rocks in the direction of the other protesters and police.

The Winnipeg Police Service is not discouraging lawful assembly but is appealing to those with opposing views to planned events to consider expressing their opinions at different times and locations. This measure aims to mitigate tensions and reduce the strain on police resources, allowing them to respond effectively to the needs of the community.

Hate crimes have no place in any community, and the Winnipeg Police Service remains steadfast in its commitment to investigating and addressing suspected hate-motivated crimes within the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. The impact of this ongoing conflict, while seemingly localized, resonates far beyond the borders of Winnipeg, emphasizing the importance of unity and understanding in these challenging times.

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