Toronto

Police investigate after swastika found painted in Gay Village in 'despicable hate crime'

Investigators looking for 2 people 'deliberately trying to conceal their identity'

August 05, 2018

On Friday, police received online reports about the symbol, which was painted on top of a rainbow walkway in the area of Church and Alexander streets. (@TPS LGBTQ-ISN/Twitter)

Toronto police are investigating after a swastika was found painted in the city's Gay Village neighbourhood in what's being called a "despicable hate crime."

On Friday, police received online reports about the symbol, which was found a day earlier painted on top of a rainbow walkway in the area of Church and Alexander streets.

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Investigators are looking for two people who "deliberately" tried to conceal their identity, according to a tweet by the force's LGBTQ liaison.

The investigation is in its early stages, say police, but anyone with information or surveillance camera footage is asked to contact police at 416-808-5184.

In 2017, the number of reported hate crimes in Toronto jumped 28 per cent compared the previous year, accordingt to the Toronto Police Hate Crimes Unit.

In all last year, 186 "hate-motivated occurrences" were recorded, with mischief-to-property offences like vandalism and graffiti accounting for much of the spike. For a hate crime charge to be laid in Ontario, the province's attorney general must provide consent. 

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