ADL Concerned by Reported 14 Percent Increase in Hate Crimes in New York State

New York, NY, December 30, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today it is "deeply disturbed" at the reported 14 percent statewide increase in the number of hate crimes targeting minorities in New York in 2009.

According to the Hate Crime in New York State 2009 Annual Report issued by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, Jews were the minority group most frequently targeted by hate crimes, accounting for 37 percent of incidents reported statewide. Other frequently targeted minority groups included Blacks (21 percent), gays (12 percent) and Hispanics (6 percent).

Ron Meier, New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We are deeply disturbed by the 14 percent increase in hate crimes across New York State in 2009. It is clear that bias-motivated acts are disturbingly prevalent across the state and that there is much work to be done to counteract them.

We are particularly concerned that Jews and Jewish institutions continue to be targeted for hate crimes more than any other minority group in the state, and at a level that remains disturbingly high. These statistics underscore the fact that more work needs to be done to address anti-Semitism in our society.

Hate crimes impact more than just one person and can instill a sense of fear and insecurity within an entire community. That is why it is so important for law enforcement and our political leadership to recognize the problem of prejudice and bigotry in New York State and to proactively address hate crime through training, education and advocacy.

We are heartened by the finding that more local communities are reporting hate incidents to the state. Hate crimes statistics are important to assess the true scope of the problem and to ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to respond.

ADL's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents counted 209 anti-Jewish acts -- including harassment, assaults and vandalism -- across New York State in 2009, compared with 207 incidents in 2008.

The League has increasingly been approached to provide specialized training to the law enforcement community on how to response to a hate incidents in New York and across the country.