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Toronto’s police chief says the number of calls reporting hate crimes has surged since the start of the Israel-Hamas war and that more than half of hate crimes this year have targeted the Jewish community.

Chief Myron Demkiw says officers have responded to 989 hate crime calls since Oct. 7, 2023, which is a 93 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Demkiw says of the 84 hate crimes confirmed since January, 56 per cent have been antisemitic in nature.

Police data says members of the LGBTQ+ community and Black Torontonians are the next groups most commonly targeted by hate crimes.

Demkiw says hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs living in Toronto have also been rising but he worries incidents targeting these communities are significantly under-reported.

Demkiw is encouraging Muslim community members to report crimes to police, adding that officers have increased their presence at mosques during Ramadan to ensure the holy month for Muslims is as peaceful as possible.

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