The number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI increased about 17 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report, released today.
Law enforcement reported 7,175 hate crimes to UCR in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. Although the numbers increased last year, so did the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data—with approximately 1,000 additional agencies contributing information. The report, Hate Crime Statistics, 2017, includes hate crime information for last year, broken down by location, offenders, bias types, and victims.
According to the report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6) percent, religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent). In addition to the 7,106 single-bias incidents reported last year, there were also 69 multiple-bias hate crimes reported.
About 5,000 of the hate crimes reported were categorized as crimes against persons, such as intimidation or assault. About 3,000 were considered crimes against property, such as vandalism, robbery, or burglary. (Some hate crime incidents are classified as both crimes against persons and crimes against property.)
The FBI is working with law enforcement partners across the country to encourage reporting of hate crime statistics. Next year, FBI personnel will provide training for law enforcement officers on how to identify bias-motivated incidents and report that data to the FBI’s UCR Program. Additionally, the Department of Justice launched a new hate crimes webpage, which has information for law enforcement on reporting incidents.
Reporting hate crime data to the UCR Program allows the public, researchers, community leaders, and local government to raise awareness of the issue and gain a more accurate picture of hate crimes. It also allows law enforcement agencies to develop data-focused strategies and preventative measures.
Hate crimes are the highest investigative priority in the FBI’s civil rights program.