HRC Blog

FBI: Reported Hate Crimes Based on Sexual Orientation on the Rise

FBI logoPost submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Staff

Earlier today the FBI released the 2011 Hate Crime Statistics, finding for the first time, crimes directed against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation are the second most frequent hate crime committed after crimes based on race.  Surpassing crimes committed on the basis on religion, the number of reported hate crimes committed against gay men and lesbians increased from 1,277 in 2010 to 1,293 in 2011. 

Hate crimes statistics are submitted to the FBI by law enforcement agencies across the country on a voluntary basis – there is no requirement under the law for agencies to submit the data.  In 2011, the number of agencies reporting this data dropped to 14,575, a decrease from 14,977 the previous year.  Of these data-submitting agencies, only 1,944 reported even a single hate crime to the FBI, the lowest number of agencies reporting one or more hate crimes since 2002. 

Change is coming to the way hate crimes are reported. The FBI does not collect data on hate crimes committed on the basis of gender identity.  Under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the FBI will begin collecting this data in 2013 and will report these statistics beginning in 2014.  HRC and partner organizations have worked with the FBI to implement changes to hate crimes data collection since the passage of the Act in 2009, assisting in updating the agency’s crime reporting form and training materials to include gender identity. 

FBI Hate Crimes Statistics can be viewed at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011.

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