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Mental health factors into many hate incidents: Richmond RCMP

There were 19 hate crimes and incidents in Richmond in the first four months of 2021.
Richmond RCMP Will Ng
Chief Supt. Will Ng with the Richmond RCMP.

Richmond RCMP’s officer in charge estimated 80 per cent of hate incidents in Richmond are somewhat related to mental-health issues.

Between January and April, there have been nine hate crime files with the RCMP and 10 hate incidents. (Hate incidents don’t necessarily reach the threshold of being classified as a crime.)

At this week’s community safety meeting, Coun. Harold Steves asked Chief Supt. Will NG, officer in charge of the Richmond RCMP, whether the hate incidents were done by Richmond residents or outsiders.

Ng said a “good proportion” are people who live in Richmond, but, when looking at the incidents, he was surprised about 80 per cent seemed to have a “mental-health component.”

Steves said he was sorry to hear Richmond residents were committing these hate incidents, adding he feels there are “pretty good tolerant people” in Richmond, especially because of its long history as a multicultural city.

“But if it’s mental health, I can understand that, too, because some people have some strange ideas,” Steves said.

Richmond city council asked earlier this year for hate crimes and incidents to be included in monthly RCMP reports that go to the community safety meeting.

In 2020, there were a total of 34 hate crimes and incidents whereas in 2019 there were only 20.