The FBI has just released a new manual to assist law enforcement agencies in reporting hate crimes incidents to the bureau.

Production of the manual was prompted by the 2009 passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The HCPA expanded the bias motivation definitions for hate crimes to include crimes based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, among other things.

The 64 page report, Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual, will assist law enforcement agencies in collecting and submitting hate crimes data and establish an updated hate crimes training program for their personnel. The manual is also written to raise law enforcement officers’ awareness about hate crimes.

The FBI’s most recent hate crimes statistics found that 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. The FBI will begin collecting data on hate crimes committed on the basis of gender identity in 2013 and will report these statistics beginning in 2014.

HRC – along with coalition allies – worked to ensure that the manual was LGBT-inclusive and reflected the changes mandated by the HCPA.

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