Hate crimes increased by 17% in 2017, Federal Bureau of Investigation report finds

FBI Reports Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11

The number of hate crime incidents reported in the United States jumped by 17 percent past year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

Washington law enforcement agencies reported 613 total hate-motivated crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation a year ago - everything from homicide and rape to burglary and "intimidation" - more than any other state except California, according to the FBI's data.

The FBI definition of a hate crime is a "criminal offence against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity".

Whitaker said he was "particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes", which are already the most common type of religious hate crime in the United States.

In addition, some 58 percent of all hate crimes in 2017 were based on race, including 28 percent against African-Americans.

According to the FBI's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, there were a total of 7,175 hate crime incidents reported a year ago by law enforcement agencies, up from 6,121 incidents in 2016.

Religion was the second biggest motivator of hate crimes, with 1,679 incidents reported by law enforcement agencies.

In its annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said there were 7,175 hate crimes in 2017.

The data from the past decade shows a decline in anti-Jewish hate crime through 2015, when 51.3 percent of religious hate crime offenses targeted Jews or Jewish institutions.

In his statement, Mr Whitaker said: "The Department of Justice's top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes".

Critics of President Donald Trump have directly blamed him for a rise in hate crimes in the U.S., with the NAACP pointing to his "xenophobic rhetoric and racist policies".

"You can't move what you can't measure; without accurate reporting we don't have a real sense of how widespread hate crimes are and what needs to be done to address bias in society", Greenblatt said. There were also significant increases in the number of hate crimes directed against Arab Americans (100 percent), Asian-Pacific Americans (20 percent), and Native Americans (63 percent).

The FBI has urged local police departments to provide more complete information about hate crimes in their jurisdictions.

The Anti-Defamation League said some of police departments in major USA cities didn't report hate crimes as part of the annual report, including the Honolulu Police Department, Indianapolis Police Department and police in Kansas City, Kansas. Anti-Muslim hate crimes were down about 11 percent, according to the report.

Attacks on Jews accounted for 60 percent of all religion-based hate crimes, the highest of any targeted religious group.

View the complete report at this link.

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