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Police across the region step up patrols amid 'online threats of violence'


Ontario police have increased patrols and officers' presence in areas of cultural and religious significance in the wake of the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict.

Provincial police say they are aware of "global online threats of violence" regarding the situation in the Middle East and aim to assure residents of their focus on public safety.

"The OPP and our law enforcement partners are closely monitoring for any situation which could impact public safety in our communities," the service stated in a release issued on Friday.

"While the OPP respects the right of everyone to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, everyone also has a right to a safe environment," the release continued.

Provincial police said acts of hate, violence, or threats of violence would not be tolerated, and any incidents would be investigated and those responsible held accountable.

South Simcoe police are also "closely monitoring the situation for any local impacts," the service stated Friday, adding it is working closely with law enforcement partners.

"Currently, there has been no identified threat to our communities," the service confirmed.

"The South Simcoe Police Service has zero tolerance for any form of hate, violence or threats of violence and will vigorously investigate all reports," the service added.

Earlier this week, Barrie police said its officers would heighten patrols at synagogues and mosques.

"We are there out of an abundance of caution," said Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston.

The Barrie synagogue will hold a community prayer service on Saturday to honour the lives lost and support those impacted by the Israel-Hamas war.

Police encourage residents to report allegations of hate-motivated incidents and crime to the authorities. Top Stories

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