Incidents and Offenses

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The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects data about both single-bias and multiple-bias hate crime incidents. For each offense type reported, law enforcement must indicate at least one bias motivation. A single-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias. A multiple-bias incident is defined as an incident in which more than one offense type occurs and at least two offense types are motivated by different biases.

  • In 2008, 13,690 law enforcement agencies submitted hate crime data to the UCR Program. Of these agencies, 2,145 reported 7,783 hate crime incidents involving 9,168 offenses.
  • Of the 7,783 reported incidents, 7,780 were single-bias and involved 9,160 offenses, 9,683 victims, and 6,921 offenders.
  • The 3 multiple­-bias incidents reported in 2008 involved 8 offenses, 8 victims, and 6 offenders. (See Tables 1 and 12.)

Single-bias incidents

Of the 7,780 single-bias incidents reported in 2008:

  • 51.3 percent were racially motivated.
  • 19.5 percent were motivated by religious bias.
  • 16.7 percent stemmed from sexual-orientation bias.
  • 11.5 percent resulted from ethnicity/national origin bias.
  • 1.0 percent were motivated by disability bias. (Based on Table 1.)

Offenses by bias motivation within incidents

There were 9,160 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in the above incidents. Of these:

  • 51.4 percent stemmed from racial bias.
  • 17.7 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias.
  • 17.5 percent resulted from religious bias.
  • 12.5 percent were motivated by ethnicity/national origin bias.
  • 0.9 percent resulted from biases against disabilities. (Based on Table 1.)

Racial bias

In 2008, law enforcement agencies reported that 4,704 offenses among single-bias hate crime incidents were racially motivated. Of these offenses:

  • 72.6 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
  • 17.3 percent stemmed from anti-white bias.
  • 5.5 percent were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
  • 3.4 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
  • 1.3 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias. (Based on Table 1.)

Sexual-orientation bias

Of the single-bias incidents, 1,617 offenses were committed based on sexual-orientation bias. Of these offenses:

  • 58.6 percent were the result of anti-male homosexual bias.
  • 25.7 percent were motivated by anti-homosexual bias.
  • 12.0 percent were prompted by anti-female homosexual bias.
  • 2.0 percent were the result of anti-heterosexual bias.
  • 1.7 percent were motivated by anti-bisexual bias. (Based on Table 1.)

Religious bias

There were 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias in 2008. A breakdown of these offenses shows:

  • 65.7 percent were anti-Jewish.
  • 13.2 percent were anti-other religion.
  • 7.7 percent were anti-Islamic.
  • 4.7 percent were anti-Catholic.
  • 4.2 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
  • 3.7 percent were anti-Protestant.
  • 0.9 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. (Based on Table 1.)

Ethnicity/national origin bias

In 2008, law enforcement agencies reported 1,148 offenses were committed based on the perceived ethnicity or national origin of the victim. Of these offenses:

  • 64.0 percent were due to anti-Hispanic bias.
  • 36.0 percent were because of anti-other ethnicity/national origin bias. (Based on Table 1.)

Disability bias

There were 85 reported offenses committed based on disability bias. Of these hate crimes:

  • 57 offenses were the result of anti-mental disability bias.
  • 28 offenses were motivated by anti-physical disability bias. (See Table 1.)

By offense types

Of the 9,168 reported hate crime offenses in 2008:

  • 32.4 percent were destruction/damage/vandalism.
  • 29.5 percent were intimidation.
  • 19.4 percent were simple assault.
  • 11.2 percent were aggravated assault.
  • 7.5 percent were comprised of additional crimes against persons, property, and society. (Based on Table 2.)

Offenses by crime category

Among the 9,168 hate crime offenses reported:

  • 60.4 percent were crimes against persons.
  • 39.4 percent were crimes against property.
  • The remainder of the offenses were crimes against society. (Based on Table 2.) (See Data Collection in Methodology.)

Crimes against persons

Law enforcement reported 5,542 hate crime offenses as crimes against persons. By offense type:

  • 48.8 percent were intimidation.
  • 32.1 percent were simple assault.
  • 18.5 percent were aggravated assault.
  • 0.3 percent consisted of 7 murders and 11 forcible rapes.
  • 0.3 percent involved the offense category other, which is collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System. (Based on Table 2.)

Crimes against property

  • The majority of the 3,608 hate crime offenses that were crimes against property (82.3 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
  • The remaining 17.7 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other crimes. (Based on Table 2.)

Crimes against society

Eighteen hate crime offenses were crimes against society (e.g., drug or narcotic offenses or prostitution).

By victim type

An examination of hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property revealed the following:

  • 50.9 percent of these offenses were directed at individuals.
  • 12.9 percent of these offenses were against businesses or financial institutions.
  • 8.9 percent of these offenses were against government.
  • 6.6 percent of these offenses were against religious organizations.
  • The remaining 20.6 percent of these offenses were directed at other, multiple, or unknown victim types. (Based on Table 6.)

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