BOSTON (WWLP) – The Boston Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a campaign to bring awareness of hate crimes and how to report them.
According to a news release sent to 22News from the FBI Boston Division, a hate crime is defined as a violent criminal act against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. They also say that hate crimes are often underreported to both federal, state, and local law enforcement.
In 2020, the number of hate crimes in the United States rose to the highest level in more than a decade. Law enforcement agencies reported a total of 7,759 hate crime incidents to the FBI which is a 25% increase in the last five years. The Boston Division’s area of responsibility, which includes all of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, a total of 426 hate crime incidents were reported last year, compared to 427 incidents in 2019. In Massachusetts, 310 hate crime incidents were reported involving 408 victims.
The most recent hate crime statistics released by the FBI can be found here.
In an effort to combat hate crimes, the FBI is utilizing a multilayered strategy that includes a public awareness campaign and community outreach, increasing investigations, and coordinating with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
If you believe you’ve been the target or victim of a hate crime, or other violation of your civil rights, contact the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online. Tips can remain anonymous and can be made in an individual’s native language. If you are a member of an impacted community and would like to become involved with the program, contact the outreach team at email@example.com.