The San Francisco Police Department has expanded languages available on the agency’s hate crime tip line.
As announced by city and community leaders at a Friday press conference, people calling to report a hate crime can now choose from nine distinct languages, including English, Chinese, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Thai.
According to police records, 39 percent of They City’s hate crimes in 2021 have been targeted against people of Asian descent.
In May, The Stop AAPI Hate organization shared a report reflecting a total of 6,603 self-reported hate incidents across the nation between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
Of those incidents, approximately 65 percent involved verbal harassment and 18 percent involved persons deliberately avoiding Asians and Pacific Islanders, the report showed. Physical assaults made up the third largest category of reported incidents.
Police Chief Bill Scott said he hopes the multilingual tip line will help the department solve The City’s rising hate crimes, adding:
“We believe that these enhancements to our tip line will actually give the public better access to police services and allow us to get to the bottom of some of these crimes, we hope, so we can solve them and hold to account people that are really spreading hate in our city.”
The tip line debuted in April with help from the nonprofit Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, which worked with The Office of the Mayor and Police Department:
Dennis Wu, who chairs the association’s San Francisco chapter, said the nonprofit has visited different communities to distribute postcards to elderly residents with tip line information printed in English, Chinese and Spanish. The postcards include a yellow whistle to be used in case of danger.
“We got it all translated into languages representing our whole city, and that’s because we’re all working together. We recognize that hate affects all of us.”
Scott reminded the public that the new phone number is just a tip line and that individuals should call 911 if they area experiencing or witnessing a crime in progress.
The new hate crime tip line phone number is (415) 558-5588 and callers can follow the prompt for a specific language.