Hate crimes surge in Delaware, FBI figures indicate

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Anthony Crider photo via Creative Commons. The photo was taken during the Unite The Right event in Charlottesville that led to one death.

Delaware was not exempt from the growing wave of hate crimes. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said more must be done to counter rising hate afternewly released FBI datashowed hate crimes rose across the region last year.

Delaware saw a 93 percent surge, well above the rate of Pennsylvania at28 percent and New Jersey – 76 percent.

All three states outpaced the17% increase in hate crimes nationwide in 2017.

In its annualHate Crime Statistics Act(HCSA)report, the FBI said there were 7,175 hate crimes in 2017 across the United States. Regionally, the FBI measured 78 hate crimes in Pennsylvania, 495 in New Jersey and 29 in Delaware.

In Delaware, the FBI reported:

  • 29 total hate crimes, a 93% increase over the prior year and the most in the state since 2009.
  • A 27 percent increase in race- and ethnicity-based hate crimes, from 11 in 2016 to 14 in 2017. These crimes made up 48% of all hate crimes in the state.
  • A 166percent spike in religion-based hate crimes. There were 8 in 2017, up from 3 in 2016.
  • Attacks on Jews increased from 0 in 2016 to 5 in 2017, accounting for 63 percent of all religion-based hate crimes.
  • An increase in attacks based on sexual orientation from 1 to 6.
  • 1 crime based on gender identity, up from 0 in 2016.

Pennsylvania reported 78 hate crimes. That is far below the rate in Delaware, which has about one-thirteenth the population of the Keystone State.

New Jersey was a hotspot for hate crimes with 495 cases, up 76 percent from the previous year and the fourth most in the nation after California (1,094), New York (552), and Washington State (510).

The FBI data are based on local law enforcement reporting to the Bureau. This year, that came from 16,149 law enforcement agencies, the highest level of participation since the Hate Crime Statistics Act’s enactment in 1990. The ADL asked for more agencies to file reports to the FBI

“You can’t move what you can’t measure; without accurate reporting, we don’t have a real sense of how widespread hate crimes are and what needs to be done to address bias in society,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO said. “It is incumbent on police departments, mayors, governors and county officials across the country to tally hate crimes data and report it to the FBI. The FBI can only report the data they receive. We must do more to make sure that cities report credible data.”

ADL called on federal and state officials to redouble efforts to track and disrupt escalating hate – including more comprehensive hate crime laws and better training of police officials.

After the August 2017 Charlottesville white supremacist rally and violence, ADL and a coalition of more than 80 civil rights, religious, education and professional organizationssent a letterto the Department of Justice recommending a series of federal, state and local hate crime prevention training, funding, research and outreach programs.

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