FBI Report Shows Six Percent Decline in US Hate Crimes, But State Data Flawed

By | December 10, 2012

Hate crime incidents reported to police in the United States decreased by over six percent in 2011 according to data released today by the FBI. There were 6,222 incidents in 2011, down 406 incidents from the 6,628 reported in 2010 and a nearly identical 6604 in 2009. Today’s annual numbers are the lowest reported since 1994 and are among the smallest since the FBI began collecting national data pursuant to the Hate Crime Statistics Act in the early 1990s. A hate crime is a criminal offense motivated in whole or in part by the actual or perceived group status of another, such as race.

Since 2002, reported incidents have generally been in the 6,600-8,000 range. The number of agencies participating in the data collection effort (most of which reported zero) was 14,575 agencies, down from 14,977 agencies the year before. However, the number of agencies actually sending in incidents was only 1,944 or 13.7 percent of participating agencies, five less agencies than in 2010. A 2011 victimization study by the Bureau of Justice statistics estimated that there were 148,400 hate crimes nationally in 2009, with most going unreported to police. Overall, crime in general declined last year, with a 3.8 percent decline in violent crime and a half percent decrease in reported property crime.

The most frequent hate crimes were property destruction at 29.3 percent; followed closely by intimidation, 29 percent; and simple assault at 22 percent. Hate crimes are far more likely to be directed against people, at 64 percent, than are crimes overall, but many of those person direct hate crimes are threats, not assaults. Of the hate crimes directed at persons, 45.6 percent were “intimidation” or threatening types of conduct. There were four hate crime homicides in 2011, the second lowest in the past decade. So, far unofficial data by California State University, San Bernardino show that in 2012 there were at least 10 hate crime homicides in the United States. (Huffington Post)

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