Update to the March 19, 2019 media release:
When considering whether charges under section 319 of the Criminal Code, inciting hate, are appropriate in any given case, it is always prudent to be mindful of the legal and evidentiary requirements necessary to support those charges.
In consultation with the local and regional crown law offices it has been determined that insufficient grounds exist to initiate charges at this time.
“The Peterborough Police Service certainly does not condone hateful comments made in any venue or on any platform including social media but police are one part of a complex criminal justice, judicial and corrections system,” says Peterborough Police Chief Scott Gilbert.
“The fact that we are unable to lay charges does not make hateful comments any less hurtful, harmful or worthy of repeating. We will continue to monitor and address crime and incidents of hate in our community.”
The Peterborough Police Service tracks both hate crimes as well as hate incidents, incidents that may not meet the criminal threshold for charges but could support stronger sentencing down the road.
In 2017 the Peterborough Police Service developed and re- launched the NoH8 cards that were distributed by police and other partners. The cards help explain what a hate crime or hate incident is, what to do if a person is a victim or a witness of a hate crime or incident and provides phone numbers to various community agencies and partners. The cards are still available in the lobby of the police station.
“We encourage the public to continue to reports both hate crimes and hate incidents to us and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure our communities are safe places where everyone feels welcome,” says Chief Gilbert.
Original Media Release from March 19, 2019:
The Peterborough Police Service is aware of the information being posted and circulated on social media regarding potential threats or hate crimes.
We are investigating fully and cannot provide further information at this time as it is an active and ongoing investigation.