DOJ Launches Hate Crime Webpage

Newly published FBI data showed hate crimes increased 17 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. This is the third successive year of rising crime. Anti-Semitic attacks also rose during the period. Violent crimes, however, showed a marginal decline.

The report released by the United States federal government on November 13 stated there were 7,175 hate crimes in 2017. In 2016, the number stood at 6,121. A majority of attacks happened due to religious bias and racial bias. The sexual orientation of the victim also played a role. An increase of about 23 percent was noted in hate crimes caused by religion. Anti-Semitic hate crimes went up to 37 percent. This rise can be attributed partly due to a larger number of police departments reporting data from hate crimes to the FBI.

Matthew Whitaker, acting Attorney General, said the report can be construed as a "call to action." He said such offenses violate American core values. The FBI said although attacks have increased, so have the number of police and other law enforcement agencies reporting data on hate crime. In his statement, Whitaker said the top priority of the Department of Justice is the reduction of violent crime in the United States, and all hate crimes can be regarded as violent crimes.

FBI Reports U.S. Hate Crimes Rose 17% Last Year

Incidents: Victim Type by Bias Motivation, 2017
FBI –Uniform Crime Reporting Program

As per the report, the standard bias categories in the single-bias incidents were centered on ethnicity, ancestry or race to make up 59.6 percent. Religious bias and sexual orientation make up 20.6 percent and 15.8 percent respectively. Other than the total 7,106 reported single-bias incidents reported in 2016, there was 69 multiple-bias hate crimes as well. Approximately 5,000 hate crimes reported were subsequently categorized as crimes made against persons. These include assault or intimidation. Approximately 3,000 crimes were against property like burglary, vandalism, or robbery. The FBI is at present partnered with law enforcement agencies all over the United States to gather hate crime statistics.

In 2019, FBI personnel will be training law enforcement officers to correctly identify incidents motivated by bias. The data was then subsequently reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program of the FBI.

The Department of Justice recently launched a hate crimes webpage offering information regarding law enforcement on the issue of reporting incidents. Crime data reporting to the UCR program permits researchers, local government, and the public to get a better overview of hate crimes.

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