Hate Crimes Increased by 4.6 Percent in 2016

Katrina Barker
November 14, 2017

The number of hate crimes in 2016 was 6,121 - about a 5% jump from 2015.

"Hate crimes can and do happen just about anywhere", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in releasing the data.

Crimes were also committed against victims due to their religion or sexual orientation.

Note: "Anti-Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander" hate crime attacks were not included in this report as the numbers were too small to be statistically significant.

Hate crimes in the United States increased by nearly five percent in 2016, when the country registered 6,121 acts of this type, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today. And the number of anti-Muslim groups almost tripled, to 101 previous year, from 34 in 2015, the SPLC said.

More than half of those against people were assault cases, while almost 45 percent were crimes of intimidation.

Some civil rights groups caution that the FBI's annual figures are artificially low because they rely on voluntary reporting. The remaining incidents were perpetrated at a variety of other locations, including schools and houses of worship, commercial and government buildings, restaurants and nightclubs, parking lots and garages, playgrounds and parks, and even medical facilities. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the task force he appointed on crime reduction is exploring ways to revise training for police and prosecutors, and to improve data collection on hate crimes.

An unrelated report released in February found the number of hate groups in the U.S. Crimes motivated by bias against Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians both declined. And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 crimes that were motivated by religion. Hate incidents increased from 203 in 2015 to 285 in 2016. Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents.

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