65 Percent of Hate Crimes go unreported according to new Justice Department survey

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ҬDespite a growing awareness of hate-related crimes, hate crimes are on the rise in the United States, with an estimated 65 percent going unreported.

“¨”¨The report, released by the Justice Department last week, compiles data in four year intervals. The survey of 2007-2011 shows increases in LGBT and religious hate crimes from statistics compiled in 2003-2007. 

On average there are 259,700 hate crimes committed in the US each year, about 1 in every thousand persons.

Hate crimes related to religion nearly doubled from 10 percent to 20 percent.

Hate crimes related to sexual orientation rose slightly higher from 14 percent to 18 percent.

ҬӬHate crimes that went unreported in total rose from 54 percent to 65 percent.ӬӬ

The report cited that 24 percent of the 65 percent of unreported hate crimes went unreported because of a “belief that the police would not or could not help.”

“¨”¨“We’re certainly surprised that so many victims don’t feel the reports to the police are going to be productive,” said Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Jason Marsden, in an interview with 429Magazine. “It’s shocking that there is so much of an increase in the feeling of futility that hate crime victims are apparently experiencing.”

ҬӬHate groups are on the rise in the US and are becoming more violent and more influential, with an increase of 300-400 identified hate groups in the last 6 years, as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center. ҬӬ

“Hate groups are becoming increasingly violent, which raises the possibility that victims are afraid to report the acts to police out of fear of reprisal,” said Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation, the nation’s oldest police research organization, in a press release.

The rise in unreported hate crimes in the statistics bureau’s new study comes despite increasing attention paid to the subject of hate crime by police and community groups.

“What’s surprising about this is that knowledge of hate crimes is far more prevalent across the country than it ever has been at any time in our history,” said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum, in an interview. 

The data in the latest report comes primarily from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which has been collecting information on crimes motivated by hate since 2003. 

The statistics bureau is able to gauge the percentage of crimes that go unreported to police because its victimization survey is based on a large, representative sample of Americans interviewed annually by the Census Bureau about their experiences with crime and responses to it.Ӭ

429Magazine

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