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Advocates Say FBI Hate Crime Statistics Lower Due To Underreporting

by Ryan Lynch

South Florida Gay News

Sunday December 24, 2017

Minority advocacy groups claim newly released hate crime statistics are not telling the full scale of the issue.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported 1,776 of their 15,254 bureaus (12 percent) had a hate crime happen in their jurisdiction, according to PinkNews. But advocacy groups have criticised the scale of the reporting due to the fact that hate crime reporting is not mandatory.

"We know there are multiple jurisdictions year-in and year-out that don't report or report zero hate crimes to the FBI," Director of Strategic Initiatives for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC Marita Etcubanez said.

According to the report, hate crimes went up five percent from 2015 to 2016. The Bureau of Justice reported in June that on average 250,000 hate crimes have happened each year from 2005 to 2014.

"FBI hate crime data represents the tip of the iceberg and understates the magnitude of hate crime in America," National Advocacy Manager of The Sikh Coalition Sim J. Singh said. "The only way to bridge the data gap is for law enforcement agencies to adopt mandatory hate crime reporting."

The FBI said they do not comment on or provide analysis on the hate crime stats it releases, according to PinkNews.

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