Police investigating potential hate crime at UVic Multifaith Centre

Police investigating potential hate crime at UVic Multifaith Centre
An undated file photo of the UVic Multifaith Centre.

A paper that was attached to the Multifaith Centre at UVic is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to Oak Bay Police.

In a statement, Jess Maclean, Director, Campus Security, said custodial staff found two threatening notes on the doors of UVic’s Multifaith Centre in the early hours of Friday.

“The notes were removed immediately and Campus Security (CSEC) was notified at approximately 8:20 a.m. CSEC, in turn, filed a report with the police of jurisdiction,” Maclean said.

Kris Rice, deputy chief constable with Oak Bay Police, says the notes, written in Arabic and English, has messaging that appears to target Iran, Palestine, and the Muslim community.

“The content of the paper appeared to be hate-motivated,” Oak Bay Police says in a news release. “The content of the paper was promptly reviewed by a hate-crimes investigator and has also been forwarded to the RCMP’s hate crime unit for further analysis and to determine if any other incidents have occurred in other jurisdictions.”

Saanich Police is providing support to the investigation.

The university says it’s committed to providing its students, staff and faculty with a safe, supportive and healthy environment for work and study. We take threats and harassment complaints very seriously.

“Campus Security worked with Student Wellness and police to assess the risk and, out of an abundance of caution, we decided to close the Multifaith Centre for the remainder of the [Friday],”  Maclean said.

She adds CSEC works alongside event organizers to determine risk levels and develop safety plans, as appropriate, to ensure events and programs can take place safely at UVic.

“In this case, we will continue to work with event organizers to assess risk levels and develop safety planning for the remainder of activities planned at Multifaith this summer,” Maclean said.

Police say there are no known suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oak Bay Police Department at 250-592-2424.

With files from CHEK’s Mackenzie Read

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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