Hate Crimes Up Just 2%, But Gay-Bashing Soars: FBI

Religiously motivated crimes also surge
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2009 12:38 PM CST
Graffiti on the front of the Islamic Center of Cypress, Calif.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The incidence of reported hate crimes in the US rose 2% in 2008, with huge surges in religion- and sexual orientation-based offenses. The FBI compiled the stats but cautions that an increase in reporting—not in crime itself—could be responsible. The AP looks at some numbers:

  • Of 7,783 reported hate crimes in 2008, 7 were murders.
  • Reports of religiously motivated hate crimes were up 9% from the year before. Crimes related to sexual orientation rose 11%.

  • Though racially motivated offenses still account for half of all hate crimes, their incidence was down last year—but by less than a percentage point.
  • About a third of all hate crimes are vandalism or property damage. Another third are threats or intimidation, and the rest physical attacks on people.
  • 2,145 agencies reported on hate crimes in 2008, up from 2,025 in 2007.