A new e-learning course, created by the Edmonton Police Service and offered by the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN), will help police officers identify trends and intelligence on hate and bias groups, allow for appropriate resource allocation to protect those most victimized and help the Crown invoke Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada against perpetrators of hate and bias crimes through improved reporting and investigative techniques.

Hate and Bias Crime Investigation

The "Hate and Bias Crime Investigation" training course, delivered via CPKN's secure Internet portal (, helps police officers understand the significance and frequency of hate and bias crimes. The course also explains the reasons why hate and bias crimes occur, identifies the officer's responsibilities during the investigation and clearly outlines how to successfully write and file reports. By understanding the ideologies of hate groups and the tools they use to spread hate and bias, police services will be better able to develop a proactive approach in eradicating hate and bias crimes in their community.

Subject Matter Experts, Constables Dave Huggins and Stephen Camp, have invested more than three years of research and experience in the field of hate and bias crime investigation and have established and manage the Edmonton Police Service's Hate and Bias Crime Unit. This course highlights this experience, and will provide value for any front-line officer or hate and bias crimes specialist.

Even though numerous sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect every individual's rights equally, hate and bias crimes continue to be perpetrated. According to Statistics Canada, twelve major police services reported a total of 928 hate crime incidents from 2001-2002. Hate crimes, however, are the most underreported crimes in the Criminal Code and statistics are estimated to capture only 10 percent of the actual number of hate and bias crimes. Other studies have estimated that there could be approximately 60,000 hate crimes committed annually in Canada.

Research indicates that when proactive strategies to fight these crimes are adopted, hate and bias crimes traditionally decline. Recent examples in Canada include the shut down of "The Heritage Front" hate line in Toronto along with a similar White Supremacist group in Winnipeg because of the cooperation between police, community groups and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.