ADL Urges More Vigorous Police Data Collection Efforts in Wake of Annual FBI Hate Crimes Report

New York, NY, November 14, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the release of the annual FBI Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report, expressing concern over report’s documentation of 5,850 hate crimes in 2015 – a seven percent increase over the 2014 report and an average of 16 hate crimes every day.

ADL also voiced concern that hate crimes on the basis of religion increased 23 percent, including increases in reported anti-Jewish crimes and significantly increased anti-Muslim hate crimes.

“We are troubled that the FBI’s annual hate crimes report revealed an increase in the number of reported hate crimes – including an increase in the number of race-based crimes, crimes directed against Jews, and against the LGBT communities – and a significant increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes,” said Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair. “It is essential not to just assume a direct connection between these reported hate crimes and the inflammatory and divisive presidential election campaign. However community climate matters and we have documented an unprecedented amount of bigotry and intolerance on the campaign trail.”

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, added, “Despite the extraordinary outreach and enforcement work by the Justice Department, it is disturbing that at least 85 police agencies in cities over 100,000 in population did not participate in this report – or affirmatively reported that they had zero hate crimes. Data drives policy – and the FBI’s annual report is the most important national snapshot of the hate crime problem in America.

“Though clearly incomplete, the report provides essential information about the nature and magnitude of the problem,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “Police participation in the report is a measure of accountability and how well prepared they are to address hate crimes when they occur. We can and should do much better. Working with our coalition and other civil rights, education, and interfaith partners, we will make increased hate crime reporting, participation, and training a significant priority.”

For the first time, the 2015 FBI HCSA report includes separate reporting for crimes directed against Sikhs, Arabs, Hindus and others. ADL and a broad coalition had urged that these groups be included, since they have historically been targeted because of their religious practices, appearance, and apparel.

Last year, ADL announced the formation of a new campaign to improve legal response to hate crimes across the United States. 50 States Against Hate: An Initiative for Stronger Hate Crime Laws is working toward the passage of hate crime laws in the five states which do not have them, while simultaneously seeking to improve hate crime reporting and make existing hate crime laws in the other 45 states more inclusive and comprehensive.

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