Hate Crime Incidents in Missouri Jumped by Almost 70%
This week, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released 2021 hate crime statistics about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. The 2021 data, submitted by 11,834 law enforcement agencies, provide information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes. This is the first year the annual hate crimes statistics are reported entirely through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Compared to the previous crime data collection system, NIBRS collects significantly more detailed data for each individual criminal incident.
Law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports involving 7,262 criminal incidents and 8,673 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.
Specifically in Missouri last year, the number of hate crime incidents reported to law enforcement jumped by almost 70%. The most common bias was targeted against a person’s race, ethnicity, or ancestry. “This spike is alarming regardless of whether there were more incidents or because more victims were willing to report it,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay Greenberg of the FBI St. Louis Division. “Just prior to my appointment to head FBI St. Louis, I led the charge at FBI Headquarters to elevate hate crimes investigations as one of the top priorities across the Bureau. We encourage victims to not only report to their local law enforcement, but directly to the FBI as well.” The statistics are based on data received from more than 81% of law enforcement agencies throughout Missouri.
Hate Crime Incidents Reported in Missouri
- 2021: 119
- 2020: 76
- Sexual Orientation
- 2021: 33
- 2020: 16
- 2021: 22
- 2020: 14
- Gender Identity
- 2021: 9
- 2020: 1
- Multiple Bias
- 2021: 6
- 2020: 3
- 2021: 4
- 2020: 2
- 2021: 1
- 2020: 3
- 2021: 194
- 2020: 115
Highlights nationwide of Hate Crime Statistics, 2021, follow. (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100.0 percent.)
Victims of Hate Crime Incidents
- Slightly more than 7,000 (7,074) single-bias incidents involved 8,753 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type shows that 64.8 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 15.6 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias, 13.3 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias, 3.6 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity bias, 1.7 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ disability bias, and 1.0 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender bias.
- There were 188 multiple-bias hate crime incidents that involved 271 victims.
Offenses by Crime Category
- Of the 5,781 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2021, 44.2 percent were intimidation, 35.9 percent were simple assault, and 18.3 percent were aggravated assault. Thirteen (13) rapes and 9 murders were reported as hate crimes. The remaining 69 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons were reported in the category of other.
- Of the 2,606 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property, most (64.2 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
- Two hundred eighty-six (286) additional offenses were classified as crimes against society. This crime category represents society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity such as gambling, prostitution, and drug violations. These are typically victimless crimes in which property is not the object.
- In the UCR Program, the term known offender indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. It does not necessarily imply that the suspect’s identity is known.
- Of the 6,312 known offenders, 56.1 percent were White, 21.3 percent were Black or African American, 1.3 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.0 percent were Asian, 0.4 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 6.3 percent were multiple races. The race was unknown for 13.5 percent.
- Of the 4,884 known offenders for whom ethnicity was reported, 55.4 percent were Not Hispanic or Latino, 7.6 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and 8.9 percent were in a group of multiple ethnicities. Ethnicity was unknown for 28.1 percent of these offenders.
- Of the 5,757 known offenders for whom ages were known, 82.3 percent were 18 years of age or older.
Locations of Hate Crimes
Law enforcement agencies may specify the location of an offense within a hate crime incident as 1 of 46 location designations. In 2021, most hate crime incidents (32.2 percent) occurred in or near residences/homes. Nearly 17 percent (16.9) occurred on highways/roads/alleys/streets/sidewalks, 8.1 percent occurred at schools/colleges, 7.0 percent happened at parking/drop lots/garages, 2.8 percent took place in restaurants, and 2.7 percent occurred at parks/playgrounds. The location was reported as other/unknown for 4.2 percent of hate crime incidents. The remaining 26.1 percent of hate crime incidents took place in the remaining specified location categories or in multiple locations.
Transition to NIBRS
Since 2016, the Justice Department has worked diligently with law enforcement agencies to assist in their transition to reporting crime data through NIBRS, including allocating over $120 million in grants to support agencies’ transition. NIBRS is a significant shift and improvement in how reported crime is measured and estimated by the federal government and will greatly improve the nation’s understanding of crime and public safety.
As a result of the shift to NIBRS-only data collection, law enforcement agency participation in submitting all crime statistics, including hate crimes, fell significantly from 2020 to 2021. Law enforcement agencies that did not transition to reporting crime data through NIBRS were not able to submit hate crime statistics to the FBI’s UCR Program. Several of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies, as well as some states, did not make the transition to NIBRS in time to submit data prior to the reporting deadline, and are not included in the 2021 reported totals.
Participation in NIBRS continues to improve. As of November 1, 2022, 12,090 of the nation’s 18,806 law enforcement agencies have reported crime data using NIBRS. As more agencies transition to the NIBRS data collection with continued support from the Department of Justice, hate crime statistics in coming years will provide a richer and more complete picture of hate crimes nationwide.
Hate Crime Statistics, 2021, is available on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer at https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov.