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Hate crimes down in Florida says report

Attorney General Bill McCollum recently released the 2009  Florida Hate Crimes Report, which indicates that reported hate crimes in  Florida are at their lowest level since 1990. During the 2009 calendar  year, 148 hate crimes were reported by law enforcement agencies, well  below the annual average of 262 reported hate crime incidents since  reporting began in 1990.

“Floridians must continue working to ensure that everyone is free of  intolerance and hate,” said Attorney General McCollum. “Even one hate  crime is one too many.”

Data in the 2009 Hate Crimes Report was submitted by local law enforcement  agencies to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Audit & Data  Collection Unit of the Criminal Justice Information Services Program  through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) information system. Currently,401 agencies participate in the UCR system.

There are two categories of hate crime offenses: crimes against persons  and crimes against property. Crimes against persons accounted for 71.6  percent of all incidents reported in 2009, up slightly from 65.9 percent  in 2008, while crimes against property accounted for the remaining 28.4  percent, down slightly from 34.1 percent in 2008.

The report shows not only the number of hate crimes committed, but also  the nature of the factors motivating the offenses. During 2009, hate  crimes motivated by the victim’s race represented 54 percent of all  reported hate crimes, followed by religion at 14.2 percent; sexual  orientation at 22.3 percent and ethnicity/national origin at 9.5 percent.

No hate crimes were reported under the categories of mental disability,  physical disability or advanced age.

The Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights, which compiles the report,  also conducts hate crimes training for law enforcement throughout Florida  and has developed programs for elementary, middle and high school students  to teach them how to recognize hate crimes, how the law protects victims  of hate crimes, and how such crimes affect Florida communities.

Attorney General McCollum continues to support better protection for  victims of hate crimes and was recently involved in obtaining the support  of State Attorneys General for federal hate crimes legislation approved by  the U.S. House of Representatives. The Anti-Defamation League commended  the Attorney General for his leadership as a principal signature on a  letter in support of The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime  Prevention Act (HCPA), which became law last year.

A copy of the 2009 Florida Hate Crimes report is available online at:$file/2009HateCrimesReport.pdf

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Dec 6 2010. Filed under Broward County, Latest news, Local news, Tallahassee. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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