Hate crimes went up a year ago in the US

Chet Strange  Getty Images

Chet Strange Getty Images

While the data provides a way to compare annual hate crime statistics, the number of actual hate crime incidents is believed to drastically under reported, according to advocacy groups.

The FBI says reports of hate crime in the USA increased in 2016, though the agency admits that not every incident and agency was included. That's up about 5 percent from the year before.

There were eight reports of religion motivated hate crimes past year but zero reports of gender motivated hate crimes. A further 21.1 percent were targeted because of religion, and 16.7 percent because of sexual-orientation. That represented almost a 20 percent increase in anti-Muslim reports. The remaining agencies reported no hate crimes occurred within their jurisdictions. "Police departments that do not report credible data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them, which may threaten community trust in their ability and readiness to address hate violence". But the number of anti-black crimes remained about even with the number reported in 2015.

At the same time, attacks or incidents against Latinos increased by 15 percent, and against whites and Arabs rose by 38 and 17 percent, respectively.

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The numbers likely reflect an uptick recorded by civil rights groups in harassment and vandalism targeting Muslims, Jews, Blacks and others amid the presidential campaign, which included sharp rhetoric from Republican Donald Trump and others against immigrants, especially Muslims.

"Anti-Black or African American bias" still make up the overwhelming cases of racial hate crimes in America. More than half of the religious-related crimes, the statistics show, were anti-Jewish, while a quarter were anti-Muslim. Incidents targeting Muslims rose 19 percent from 257 to 307 incidents. Crimes motivated by bias against Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians both declined.

Of the 7,615 overall victims, 4,720 were victims of crimes against persons (both adults and juveniles), 2,813 were victims of crimes against property, and 82 were victims of hate crimes categorized as crimes against society (e.g., weapons violations, drug offenses, gambling). Crimes motivated by gender identity-bias accounted for 124 incidents.

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