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.