Attorney General Kamala D. Harris (Courtesy Photo)
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently announced that the number of reported hate crimes in California decreased 12.8 percent in 2012. There were 930 hate crime events reported statewide in 2012, a decrease from the 1,060 hate crimes reported in 2011.
Since 2003, the total number of hate crime events in California has decreased 37.6 percent from 1,491 to 930.
“While overall numbers are down this year, any hate crime hurts the people and values of California,” said Attorney General Harris. “I am confident that California law enforcement will monitor and prosecute these cases to ensure severe consequence and accountability.”
Hate crimes with a race/ethnicity/national origin bias decreased 10.1 percent from 2011 to 2012 but still accounted for 56.8 percent of all hate crime events in 2012. Over the past ten years, these have consistently been the most common type of hate crime.
Hate crime events involving a sexual orientation bias decreased 3.7 percent and events involving a religious bias decreased 27.9 percent from 2011 to 2012.
All police agencies and district attorney offices in California submitted hate crime statistics to the state Department of Justice for this report. Hate crime categories are established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Next year, three changes will be made to the Hate Crime Event Report form distributed by the California Department of Justice to local law enforcement agencies in the state. In accordance with a change made by the FBI, the category ‘gender non-conforming’ will be added to the ‘gender’ category and ‘community centers’ will be added to the ‘location’ category. Additionally, California will add the category ‘anti-Sikh’ to the ‘religious’ category.
Statistics that reflect these changes will appear in the Attorney General’s 2014 Hate Crime Report, which will be released in 2015.
The California Attorney General’s Office published its first hate crimes report in 1995. All previous reports can be found at: http://oag.ca.gov/cjsc/pubs