Today (14th Nov 2016) the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics, 2015, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest compilation about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. This year’s collection marks the 25th anniversary of the FBI gathering and publishing data about bias-motivated crimes. The first publication in 1990 included limited data from only 11 states. The collection has grown each year into the wide-ranging report presented today. Submitted by 14,997 law enforcement agencies across the nation, the 2015 data provide information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes; however, the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports. Highlights of Hate Crime Statistics, 2015, follow.
Law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports involving 5,850 criminal incidents and 6,885 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity in 2015.
Victims of Hate Crime Incidents
There were 5,818 single-bias incidents involving 7,121 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type showed that 59.2 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 19.7 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias, and 17.7 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias. Victims targeted because of the offenders’ bias against gender identity accounted for 1.7 percent of victims of single-bias incidents; disabilities, 1.2 percent; and gender, 0.4 percent. (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100.0 percent.)
Thirty-two multiple-bias hate crime incidents involved 52 victims.
Offenses by Crime Category
Of the 4,482 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2015, intimidation accounted for 41.3 percent, simple assault accounted for 37.8 percent, and aggravated assault for 19.7 percent. Eighteen murders and 13 rapes (12 from agencies that collected data using the revised definition of rape) were reported as hate crimes.
Beginning with the 2013 data collection, the UCR Program’s revised definition of rape is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” [This includes the offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object as converted from data submitted via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
The UCR Program’s legacy definition of rape is “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”
There were 2,338 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property. The majority of these (72.6 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 27.4 percent of crimes against property.
Sixty-five additional offenses were classified as crimes against society, which were collected via NIBRS. This crime category represents society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity such as gambling, prostitution, and drug violations. These are typically victimless crimes in which property is not the object.
In the UCR Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known; rather, the term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group. Beginning in 2013, law enforcement officers could also report whether suspects were juveniles or adults, as well as the suspect’s ethnicity when possible.
Of the 5,493 known offenders, 48.4 percent were white, and 24.3 percent were black or African-American. The race was unknown for 16.2 percent. Other races accounted for the remaining known offenders: 1.0 percent were Asian; 0.9 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.1 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 9.1 percent were of a group of multiple races.
Of the 3,421 known offenders for whom ethnicity was reported, 25.7 percent were not Hispanic or Latino, 6.1 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and 1.6 percent were in a group of multiple ethnicities. Ethnicity was unknown for 66.6 percent of these offenders.
Of the 3,331 known offenders for whom ages were known, 84.7 percent were 18 years of age or older.
Locations of Hate Crimes
Law enforcement agencies may specify the location or an offense within a hate crime incident as one of 46 location designations.
In 2015, most hate crime incidents (31.5 percent) occurred in or near residences/homes;
---- 17.4 occurred on highways/roads/alleys/streets/sidewalks;
---- 8.3 percent occurred at schools/colleges; 5.6 percent happened at parking/drop lots/garages; and
---- 4.4 percent took place in churches/synagogues/temples/mosques.
---- The location was reported as other/unknown for 11.0 percent of hate crime incidents. The remaining 21.8 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other or multiple locations.