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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/canadian/canada/justice/hate-motivated-violence/hmv-002-01

Archive/File: orgs/canadian/canada/justice/hate-motivated-violence/hmv-002-01
Last-Modified: 1997/01/19
Source: Department of Justice Canada Recent Foreign Data

Perhaps the best-known recent examples of hate-motivated
attacks in a foreign jurisdiction have been those against
immigrants and refugees in Germany, which have raised
concerns about the growth of right-wing violence there.<36>
But recent incidents

The United States

The FBI, in January 1993, released the first data available
from its statistical program on hate crimes compiled under
the federal Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990.37 These
initial data were acknowledged to be limited. They covered
the calendar year 1991 and were supplied by nearly 3,000 law
enforcement agencies in 32 states. Hate crime occurrences
were recorded by 27 percent of the 2,771 agencies
participating; the remainder reported that no such offences
came to their attention. A total of 5,558 hate crime
incidents involving 5,775 offences were reported in 1991.
Intimidation was the most frequently reported hate crime,
accounting for one of three offences. Racial bias motivated
six out of ten offences reported; religious bias, two out of
ten; and ethnic and sexual orientation bias, each one out of
ten. Bias against blacks accounted for 36 percent of the
total, the highest percentage, followed by antiwhite bias at
19 percent, and anti-Jewish bias at 17 percent.<38>

Reporting of hate crimes is also required by some states.
For example, the first full year of reporting hate crimes
under the Florida Hate Crimes Reporting Act<39> was 1990.
During that year, 259 incidents of racially motivated crime
were reported. An analysis of these data revealed the

     The typical hate crime is racially motivated, is
     committed by an adult male against another adult male,
     and is directed against the person. Words are the most
     frequent indicator of the hate motivation, and assault
     is most often the underlying offense. Most victims are
     white, and most offenders are white. When race of
     victim is matched to race of offender, there are
     slightly more blacks victimizing whites (53 percent)
     than whites victimizing blacks (39 percent). Given the
     proportion of whites to blacks in the population and
     further given the generally known pattern of racism
     against blacks, the unexpected finding that blacks
     victimize whites slightly more often than whites
     victimize blacks warrants some further investigation.
     Although there is no firm indication of it among the
     data at hand, it is possible that there is a racial
     differential in the way victims take advantage of the
     new hate crimes statutes. The finding might also be a
     function of the way the hate crime law is enforced.<40>


In 1985, the Association of Chief of Police Officers
(hereinafter referred to as the ACPO) in England and Wales
issued a statement of "Guiding Principles Concerning Racial
Attacks".<41> Recognizing the need to deal with these racial
attacks promptly and efficiently, and to monitor these
incidents, the ACPO agreed upon an operational definition of
a racially motivated incident as follows:

(a) any incident in which it appears to the reporting or
investigating officer that the complaint involves an element
of racial motivation; or

(b) any incident which includes an allegation of racial
motivation made by any person.

This broad definition recognized the need to include the
perception of the victim as regards the attack as an
important factor in determining if the incident was racially
motivated. This definition is the one adopted by the Home
Office, and all police forces in Great Britain now have
defined procedures for recording and monitoring racial

Police statistics indicate an increase in reports of
racially motivated attacks in Great Britain. A total of
6,559 incidents were reported to the police in England and
Wales in 1990 according to the Home Office, compared with
5,383 incidents in 1988 and 5,055 in 1989. The total for
Scotland was 299 in 1988, 376 in 1989, and 636 in 1990.<42>
Incidents of racially motivated attacks in 1992 included the
crimes of murder and assault.<43>


The Report of the National Inquiry into Racist Violence in
Australia examined incidents of racist violence that have
occurred recently in that country.<44> The report stated
that the Peter Tan case was the most extreme example of
alleged racist violence reported to the Inquiry. Peter Tan
was a Perth taxi driver who was attacked without provocation
by two juveniles, suffered horrific injuries to the head,
and died. One of the offenders was charged. The accused told
police, "I don't like Chinese, to start with, so I belted
shit out of him." The youth, although charged with murder,
was convicted instead of manslaughter, and received a
sentence of only two years and five months.<45>

The Inquiry, however, noted that no official statistics were
kept to identify particular crimes as having a racial
element, and that this had caused significant problems in
estimating the extent of racist violence and responding to
it. The Inquiry recommended that data on racially motivated
offences should be collected and analyzed at both a state
and federal level; that "uniform national procedures" needed
to be developed for the collection of statistics on racist
violence, intimidation and harassment; and that the results
of such data collection should be analyzed and published
annually to provide uniform information on the incidence of
racially motivated crime in Australia.<46>


In determining the extent of hate-motivated violence in
France, a good starting point is the 1989 Report of the
Commission nationale consultative des droits de l'homme on
the struggle against racism and xenophobia in France, which
is summarized by Robin Oakley in his consultant's report on
racist violence and harassment to the Council of Europe.
That 1989 report provided a systematic, statistical picture
of the extent of racial violence and harassment in France
from 1979 to 1989, tabulating officially recorded incidents
for those years.<47>

The report distinguished between incidents of "antisemitism"
and "racism" (i.e., against immigrants) and also between
"actions" and "threats" (menaces). The category "actions"
covers personal assault, shooting, arson and damage to
property; the category "threats" covers graffiti, leaflets
and other written materials and telephone calls. While the
pattern of incidents of anti-Semitism was different from
that of racism, in that antiSemitic incidents tended to
oscillate unevenly over the previous ten years, there had
been a resurgence of anti-Semitic activity during 1990, with
the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. For the most part,
however, this activity consisted of threats rather than
actual physical violence.

In contrast, the pattern of recorded incidents of racism
showed that there had been a general increase in this form
of activity in France since 1982. Since 1982, between 56 and
70 "actions" had been recorded for each year. The level of
"threats" was stable in the mid-1980s (around 100) but since
1987 had risen to 135 in 1988 and 237 in 1989. During those
three years, six persons were killed and 120 injured as a
result of incidents of racism, with around 80 percent of the
recorded incidents having been aimed at Maghrebians.<48>

By a 1990 law, the Commission must, on March 21 of each
year, present to the government a report on racism that is
immediately made public.49 In its 1991 report, the
Commission included statistics from the Ministry of the
Interior which showed that in 1991 there were 91 racist
actions, of which 50 were directed against Jews, 55 against
Maghrebians, and 17 against others.<50>

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