Police investigate after swastika found painted in Gay Village in 'despicable hate crime'
Investigators looking for 2 people 'deliberately trying to conceal their identity'
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.
Investigators are looking for two people who "deliberately" tried to conceal their identity, according to a tweet by the force's LGBTQ liaison.
Yesterday, 2 ppl deliberately trying to conceal their identity committed a despicable Hate Crime in the <a href="https://twitter.com/ChurchWellesley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChurchWellesley</a> Village. If you saw this swastika being painted in the Church and Alexander St. intersection, please contact <a href="https://twitter.com/TorontoPolice?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TorontoPolice</a> Sgt Dyck <a href="https://twitter.com/TPS51Div?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TPS51Div</a> 416-808-5184. <a href="https://t.co/bu1sy4mArV">pic.twitter.com/bu1sy4mArV</a>—@TDotGayCops
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.