CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – FBI data show hate crimes increased last year across the country and right here in the state.

Tensions are rising across the globe, as the Israeli-Hamas crisis continues. Here in the U.S., the FBI says its tracking newer threats against Jewish and Muslim populations. This as newly released FBI data from 2022 shows an increase in hate crimes, during that time, there was a record breaking 1,124 hate crimes against Jewish Americans, and an increase of 158 anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Massachusetts, also seeing those alarming numbers, as crimes against Jewish, Black and gay Americans have ticked up during that time period. Local lawyer, James B. Winston, tells 22News, “And that can result in two and a half years in prison or a fine, if it is a bodily injury then the criminal penalties increase, including state prison time.”

If you believe you are the victim of a hate crime or that you witnessed a hate crime, The U.S. Department of Justice says you should report the crime to your state or local police department. You should also report the crime to the Federal Bureau of Investigation online, or by phone by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI. And if its an emergency, dial 9-1-1 to get help immediately.

The Justice Department’s Victim-Connect Resource Center also provides information and assistance to victims of crimes, including hate crimes. That support service can be reached at no cost by dialing the number, 1-855-484-2846.

Local News

Kristina D’Amours is a reporter who is a part of the evening 22News team. Follow Kristina on X @KristinaD_WWLP and view her bio to see more of her work.