Campbell River arson could be hate crime

The RCMP's hate crimes team in B.C. is investigating a suspicious fire last week at a First Nation's band office in Campbell River, on Northern Vancouver Island.

The fire late last Tuesday caused about $40,000 in damage to the Mamalilikulla-Qwe'Qwa'Sot'Em band office.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Troy Beauregard says after the fire, racist graffiti was found inside the office and investigators are now determining whether the incident should be classified as a hate crime.

"I can't disclose the exact wording that was used. It's part of the investigation. But we are following up on this incident as a priority. We take any crime that appears to be directed at a specific population within our community very seriously," said Beauregard.

Beauregard says arson investigators, the RCMP and First Nations police are co-operating on the case and they have obtained some nearby surveillance recordings, which are helping with the investigation.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to call Campbell River RCMP or Crimestoppers.