November 27, 2007
Written by C.N.
As many media organizations report, the FBI has released their data on hate crimes reported in 2006 and the official statistics indicate that all hate crimes are up 8% from 2005. However, as this article at CBS News mentions, the real numbers of hate crimes committed is almost guaranteed to be much higher:
“It’s unfortunate that the numbers went up by almost 8 percent, but the truth is the FBI Hate Crimes statistics severely undercounts the number of hate crimes that we have in the United States every year,” [Heidi Beirick of the Southern Poverty Law Center] told CBS News. That’s because only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies – roughly three-quarters – participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006.
In addition to only about two-thirds of law enforcement agencies reporting their data, as any criminologist will also tell you, another big reason why the true number of hate crimes committed is actually much higher is because only about a third of violent crimes and 40% of property crimes are ever reported to law enforcement by their victims.
Therefore, taken altogether, the real number of hate crimes actually committed (as opposed to reported to law enforcement agencies) is likely to be over 30,000 incidents a year. Overall, it’s not an encouraging picture or trend.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Increase in Hate Crimes" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2007/11/increase-in-hate-crimes/> ().
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