Annual FBI Report Indicates Increase in Hate Crimes

An annual report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this week reveals that reported hate crime incidents increased from 5,479 in 2014 to 5,850 in 2015 – a 7 percent increase.

The report, “Hate Crime Statistics, 2015,” found that crimes against Muslims rose by 67 percent in 2015, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Anti-Muslim hate crimes also increased in 2014. SPLC noted that hate crimes against Jews rose 9 percent, while they increased almost 8 percent against African Americans and almost 5 percent against LGBT people.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement that there’s still work to be done on the reporting front.

“Despite the extraordinary outreach and enforcement work by the Justice Department, it is disturbing that at least 85 police agencies in cities over 100,000 in population did not participate in this report – or affirmatively reported that they had zero hate crimes. Data drives policy – and the FBI’s annual report is the most important national snapshot of the hate crime problem in America,”Greenblatt said. “Though clearly incomplete, the report provides essential information about the nature and magnitude of the problem. Police participation in the report is a measure of accountability and how well prepared they are to address hate crimes when they occur. We can and should do much better. Working with our coalition and other civil rights, education, and interfaith partners, we will make increased hate crime reporting, participation, and training a significant priority.”

In 2015, 14,997 law enforcement agencies participated – a decrease from 15,494 in 2014, which was the highest number of participating agencies ever.

While 2013 was the first time data on crimes based on gender and gender identity were collected, 2015 was the first time data on crimes against Sikhs, Arabs, and Hindus were collected. In 2013, The Leadership Conferencejoined a broad coalitionof groups in urging the FBI to track those crimes.

In the wake of the 2016 election, SPLC’s website is collecting hate incidents here. Just one week after Election Day, SPLC said more than 300 harassment and intimidation incidents had been reported.