Data from the FBI’s annual crime report shows an overall dip in US violent crime, but a stark increase in hate crimes.
The new statistics from the federal agency, released on Monday, show that in 2022, violent offenses decreased to pre-pandemic levels.
Violent crime dropped by 1.7%, in stark contrast to claims from politicians in both political parties that crime is rising.
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter decreased by 6.1% compared with the previous year. Rape and assault also decreased, by 5.4% and 1.1% respectively.
But property crimes and hate crimes increased significantly in 2022. Property crimes increased by 7.3%, with instances of robbery increasing by 1.3% nationwide.
Hate crime incidents also increased, according to the FBI’s data.
Over 11,634 hate crime incidents were reported in 2022, compared with 10,840 the previous year.
A majority of hate crimes targeted Black people, with 51.9% of hate crime victims targeted due to “anti-Black or African American bias”, the report said.
The 2022 data also showed a sharp increase in anti-Hispanic bias.
There were also an increasing number of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals, with 1,947 hate crime incidents in 2022 targeting an individual in relation to their sexual orientation, versus 1,711 the year before.
Joe Biden issued a statement from the White House, which said: “Antisemitic hate crimes rose 25% from 2021 to 2022, and antisemitism accounted for over half of all reported religion-based hate crimes. Anti-LGBTQI+ hate crimes rose 16%, and Muslim Americans and African Americans continue to be overrepresented among victims.”
The US president added: “The data is a reminder that hate never goes away, it only hides. Any hate crime is a stain on the soul of America.”
Several advocacy groups have released statements condemning the increase in targeted violence against minority groups.
The president of Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, called the reported increase “shocking and heartbreaking” but “not unexpected”.
“The FBI’s data serves as another alarming indicator of the state of emergency our community finds itself in,” the organization’s president, Kelley Robinson, said in a statement.
Robinson added that the FBI’s data on hate crimes is incomplete.
Data for 2022 comes after the FBI overhauled its data collection process when nearly two-fifths of police agencies failed to participate in 2021’s voluntary reporting process, the Associated Press reported.
While 14,631 law enforcement agencies contributed to the 2022 report, some states don’t require their agencies to aggressively report or collect data on hate crimes, Axios reported.
“If we’re going to bring a stop to that violence, we need a full accounting of just how many hate crimes are taking place – and that requires every jurisdiction stepping up,” Robinson said.
Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center, also criticized the FBI’s data as “grievously incomplete” in a statement.
“The lack of accurate and comprehensive national data on hate crime incidents greatly hinders our ability, as a nation, to address the root causes, design prevention strategies and provide the needed support to victims and communities,” Huang said.
“Unfortunately, we cannot outlaw hate, but we can – and must – do more to support people targeted by hate violence – especially Black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities,” Huang added.
Source: The Guardian