Thousands of law enforcement agencies voluntarily submit data to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s (UCR) Hate Crime Statistics Data Collection on crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, gender and gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientations, or ethnicity.
This effort, which includes data from city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal agencies, allows the law enforcement community to recognize and document hate crimes. The collection was created after Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act in 1990.
These statistics may be used to:
- help law enforcement address issues for their communities
- provide lawmakers with justification for certain legislation
- supply the media with credible information
- show hate crime victims that they are not alone
- help researchers in determining trends in hate crimes
Participation in the data collection is voluntary for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, but it is mandatory for federal law enforcement.
The UCR Program defines hate crime as a committed criminal offense which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a:
- sexual orientation
- gender identity
For UCR Program purposes, even if the offenders are mistaken in their perception the victim was a member of a certain group, the offense is still a bias crime because the offender was motivated by bias.
The most common hate crimes reported to the data collection are destruction/damage/vandalism, intimidation, and simple assault.
The Hate Crime Data Collection gathers data on the following biases:
- Anti-American Indian or Alaska Native
- Anti-Black or African American
- Anti-Hispanic or Latino
- Anti-Multiple Races, Group
- Anti-Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
- Anti-Other Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry
- Anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Other)
- Anti-Jehovah’s Witness
- Anti-Multiple Religions, Group
- Anti-Other Christian
- Anti-Other Religion
- Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism, etc.
- Anti-Gay (Male)
- Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (Mixed Group)
- Anti-Mental Disability
- Anti-Physical Disability
- Anti-Gender Non-Conforming
The types of hate crimes reported to the UCR Program’s Hate Crime Statistics Collection are broken down by specific categories. The aggregate hate crime data collected for each incident includes:
- Bias Motivation: Incidents may include one or more offense types. Up to five bias motivation types can be reported per offense. The FBI collects information about single-bias incidents (crimes motivated by one type of bias) and multiple-bias incidents (offenses motivated by two or more biases.)
- Victims: The types of victims collected for hate crime incidents include individuals (adults and juveniles), businesses, institutions, and society. Law enforcement can also indicate the number of individual victims, as well as the number of adult victims, and the number of victims under the age of 18.
- Offenders: The collection includes the number of offenders (adults and juveniles), and when possible, the race and ethnicity of the offender or offenders. In the data collection, the term “known offender” does not imply the suspect’s identity is known, but rather some aspect of the offender is known, such as the offender’s age or gender.
- Location Type: One of 46 location types can be designated as the location, such as house of worship, sidewalk, home, school, or unknown.
- Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction includes data about hate crimes by judicial district (federal), state, and agency.