Congress mandates the collection of hate crime data
On April 23, 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, which required the Attorney General to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The Attorney General delegated the responsibilities of developing the procedures for implementing, collecting, and managing hate crime data to the Director of the FBI, who in turn, assigned the tasks to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Under the direction of the Attorney General and with the cooperation and assistance of many local and state law enforcement agencies, the UCR Program created a hate crime data collection to comply with the congressional mandate.
The first hate crime publications
The UCR Program’s first publication on the subject was Hate Crime Statistics, 1990: A Resource Book, which was a compilation of hate crime data reported by 11 states that had collected the information under state authority in 1990 and were willing to offer their data as a prototype. The UCR Program continued to work with agencies familiar with investigating hate crimes and collecting related information so that it could develop and implement a more uniform method of data collection on a nationwide scale. Hate Crime Statistics, 1992, presented the first published data reported by law enforcement agencies across the country that participated in the UCR Hate Crime Statistics Program.
Subsequent changes to hate crime data collection
- In September 1994, lawmakers amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include bias against persons with disabilities by passing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The FBI started gathering data for the additional bias type on January 1, 1997.
- The Church Arson Prevention Act, which was signed into law in July 1996, removed the sunset clause from the original statute and mandated that the collection of hate crime data become a permanent part of the UCR Program.
- In 2009, Congress further amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act by passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act. The amendment includes the collection of data for crimes motivated by bias against a particular gender and gender identity, as well as for crimes committed by, and crimes directed against, juveniles. The FBI is currently implementing changes to collect these data in the future.
The designers of the Hate Crime Statistics Program sought to capture information about the types of bias that motivate crimes, the nature of the offenses, and some information about the victims and offenders. In creating the program, the designers recognized that hate crimes are not separate, distinct crimes; instead, they are traditional offenses motivated by the offender’s bias (for example, an offender assaults a victim because of a bias against the victim’s race). After much consideration, the developers agreed that hate crime data could be derived by capturing the additional element of bias in those offenses already being reported to the UCR Program. Attaching the collection of hate crime statistics to the established UCR data collection procedures, they concluded, would fulfill the directives of the Hate Crime Statistics Act without placing an undue additional reporting burden on law enforcement and, in time, would develop a substantial body of data about the nature and frequency of bias crimes occurring throughout the Nation.
The hate crime data in this Web publication comprise a subset of information that law enforcement agencies submit to the UCR Program. The types of hate crimes reported to the program (i.e., the biases that motivated the crimes) are further broken down into more specific categories. As collected for each hate crime incident, the aggregate data in this report include the following: offense type, location, bias motivation, victim type, number of individual victims, number of offenders, and the race of the offenders.
- Incidents and offenses—Crimes reported to the FBI involve those motivated by biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, and disability. Forthcoming system changes will also allow the reporting of crimes motivated by biases based on gender and gender identity, as well as crimes committed by, and crimes directed against, juveniles.
- Victims—The victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.
- Offenders—Law enforcement specifies the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group.
- Location type—With the addition of 5 new location designations in 2010, law enforcement may specify one of 30 location designations, e.g., residence/home, school/college, and parking lot/garage. The 5 new location designations are camp/campground, gambling facility/casino/race track, industrial site, park/playground, and shopping mall.
- Hate crime by jurisdiction—Includes data about hate crimes by state and agency.
Law enforcement’s support
Law enforcement’s support and participation have been the most vital factors in moving the hate crime data collection effort from concept to reality. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the former UCR Data Providers’ Advisory Policy Board (which is now part of the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board), the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, and the Association of State UCR Programs all have endorsed the UCR Program’s Hate Crime Statistics Program. In addition to this support, thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide make crucial contributions to the program’s success as the officers within these agencies investigate offenses and report as known hate crimes those they determine were motivated by biases.
Agencies contributing data
Agencies that participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program in 2010 represented over 285 million inhabitants, or 92.3 percent of the Nation’s population, and their jurisdictions covered 49 states and the District of Columbia. The following table presents the number of agencies that participated in hate crime reporting in 2010 by population group and the population covered collectively by those agencies within each group.
The Uniform Crime Reporting Program collects data about both single-bias and multiple-bias hate crimes. For each offense type reported, law enforcement must indicate at least one bias motivation. A single-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias. A multiple-bias incident is defined as an incident in which more than one offense type occurs and at least two offense types are motivated by different biases.
- In 2010, 1,949 law enforcement agencies reported 6,628 hate crime incidents involving 7,699 offenses.
- There were 6,624 single-bias incidents that involved 7,690 offenses, 8,199 victims, and 6,001 offenders.
- The 4 multiple-bias incidents reported in 2010 involved 9 offenses, 9 victims, and 7 offenders.
An analysis of the 6,624 single-bias incidents reported in 2010 revealed the following:
- 47.3 percent were racially motivated.
- 20.0 percent were motivated by religious bias.
- 19.3 percent resulted from sexual-orientation bias.
- 12.8 percent stemmed from ethnicity/national origin bias.
- 0.6 percent were prompted by disability bias.
Offenses by bias motivation within incidents
Of the 7,690 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in the above incidents:
- 48.4 percent stemmed from racial bias.
- 19.1 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias.
- 18.3 percent resulted from religious bias.
- 13.5 percent were prompted by ethnicity/national origin bias.
- 0.6 percent resulted from biases against disabilities.
In 2010, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,725 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated.
Of these offenses:
- 69.8 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
- 18.2 percent stemmed from anti-white bias.
- 5.7 percent were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
- 5.1 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
- 1.2 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,409 offenses reported by law enforcement.
A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-bias offenses showed:
- 65.4 percent were anti-Jewish.
- 13.2 percent were anti-Islamic.
- 9.5 percent were anti-other religion, i.e., those not specified.
- 4.3 percent were anti-Catholic.
- 3.8 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
- 3.3 percent were anti-Protestant.
- 0.5 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.
In 2010, law enforcement agencies reported 1,470 hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation bias.
Of these offenses:
- 57.9 percent were classified as anti-male homosexual bias.
- 27.4 percent were reported as anti-homosexual bias.
- 11.4 percent were prompted by an anti-female homosexual bias.
- 1.4 percent were the result of an anti-heterosexual bias.
- 1.9 percent were classified as anti-bisexual bias.
Ethnicity/national origin bias
Of the single-bias incidents, 1,040 offenses were committed based on the perceived ethnicity or national origin of the victim.
Of these offenses:
- 65.5 percent were anti-Hispanic bias.
- 34.5 percent were anti-other ethnicity/national origin bias.
There were 46 reported hate crime offenses committed based on disability bias.
- 24 offenses were classified as anti-mental disability.
- 22 offenses were reported as anti-physical disability.
By offense type
Of the 7,699 reported hate crime offenses in 2010:
- 30.1 percent were destruction/damage/vandalism.
- 29.0 percent were intimidation.
- 21.8 percent were simple assault.
- 11.5 percent were aggravated assault.
- 7.5 percent were comprised of additional crimes against persons, property, and society.
Offenses by crime category
Among the 7,699 hate crime offenses reported:
- 62.7 percent were crimes against persons.
- 37.2 percent were crimes against property.
- The remainder were crimes against society.
Crimes against persons
Law enforcement reported 4,824 hate crime offenses as crimes against persons.
By offense type:
- 46.2 percent were intimidation.
- 34.8 percent were simple assault.
- 18.4 percent were aggravated assault.
- 0.2 percent consisted of 7 murder and nonnegligent manslaughters and 4 forcible rapes.
- 0.3 percent involved the offense category other, which is collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
Crimes against property
- The majority of the 2,861 hate crime offenses that were crimes against property—81.1 percent—were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
- The remaining 18.9 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other crimes.
Crimes against society
There were 14 offenses defined as crimes against society (e.g., drug or narcotic offenses or prostitution).
By victim type
When considering hate crime offenses by the type of victims reported:
- 81.6 percent of reported offenses were directed at individuals.
- 4.5 percent were against businesses or financial institutions.
- 3.5 percent were against government.
- 2.6 percent were against religious organizations.
- 0.2 percent were against society.
- The remaining 7.6 percent were directed at other, multiple, or unknown victim types.
In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. In 2010, the Nation’s law enforcement agencies reported that there were 8,208 victims of hate crimes. Of these victims, 9 were victimized in 4 separate multiple-bias incidents.
Law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program identified 6,008 known offenders in 6,628 bias-motivated incidents in 2010. 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.
Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Bias Motivation, 2010
Single-Bias Incidents 6,624 7,690 8,199 6,001 Race: 3,135 3,725 ,3949 2,934 Anti-White 575 679 697 649 Anti-Black 2,201 2,600 2,765 1,974 Anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native 44 45 47 43 Anti-Asian/Pacific Islander 150 190 203 156 Anti-Multiple Races, Group 165 211 237 112 Religion: 1,322 1,409 1,552 606 Anti-Jewish 887 922 1,040 346 Anti-Catholic 58 61 65 22 Anti-Protestant 41 46 47 6 Anti-Islamic 160 186 197 125 Anti-Other Religion 123 134 141 72 Anti-Multiple Religions, Group 48 53 55 30 Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. 5 7 7 5 Sexual Orientation: 1,277 1,470 1,528 1,516 Anti-Male Homosexual 739 851 876 904 Anti-Female Homosexual 144 167 181 152 Anti-Homosexual 347 403 420 412 Anti-Heterosexual 21 21 22 21 Anti-Bisexual 26 28 29 27 Ethnicity/National Origin: 847 1,040 1,122 887 Anti-Hispanic 534 681 747 593 Anti-Other Ethnicity/National Origin 313 359 375 294 Disability: 43 46 48 58 Anti-Physical 19 22 24 28 Anti-Mental 24 24 24 30 Multiple-Bias Incidents3 4 9 9 7
1: The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole.
2: The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender.
3: In a multiple-bias incident, two conditions must be met: (a) more than one offense type must occur in the incident and (b) at least two offense types must be motivated by different biases
Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Offense Type, 2010
Crimes against persons: 3,978 4,824 4,824 4,873 Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 6 7 7 9 Forcible rape 4 4 4 7 Aggravated assault 695 888 888 1,144 Simple assault 1,472 1,681 1,681 1,972 Intimidation 1,790 2,231 2,231 1,726 Other4 11 13 13 15 Crimes against property: 2,861 2,861 3,370 1,419 Robbery 146 146 168 290 Burglary 125 125 163 88 Larceny-theft 175 175 196 141 Motor vehicle theft 16 16 16 8 Arson 43 43 45 30 Destruction/damage/vandalism 2,321 2,321 2,747 831 Other4 35 35 36 31 Crimes against society4 14 14 14 18
1 The actual number of incidents is 6,628. However, the column figures will not add to the total because incidents may include more than one offense type, and these are counted in each appropriate offense type category.
2 The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole.
3 The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender. The actual number of known offenders is 6,008. However, the column figures will not add to the total because some offenders are responsible for more than one offense type; and they are, therefore, counted more than once in this table.
4 Includes additional offenses collected in the National Incident-Based Reporting Systems
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation