Hate crime reports in Massachusetts hit 10-year high

Massachusetts

Hate crimes, both in Massachusetts and nationwide increased in 2017.

The number of hate crimes reported to the state increased by almost 10 percent in 2017, making it a 10-year high.

Nationwide, there were more than 7,000 hate crimes reported in 2017, up by 17 percent from the previous year. 

In Massachusetts alone, 438 hate crime offenses had been reported in the state in 2017.

Here locally, there were 9 hate crimes reported in Franklin County, 9 in Hampshire and 23 in Hampden county.

“It’s just a sad thing how some people in there mind have thoughts of how they carry themselves in ways to hate one another for your color or your culture or whatever it may be because I feel like we all are one and we need to come together,” Robert Hikes of Northampton said.

The most common offense in 2017 was vandalism and damage to property. which accounted for 38 percent of reported incidents. 

UMass Amherst has been in the spotlight this year when it comes to racist graffiti found on campus. 

A racist message was found written in a Melville Hall bathroom at the University in September. And most recently, A swastika was found on a sign outside a resident assistant’s room in Baker Hall earlier this month. 

“I think there is more expression of these people who have these feelings and maybe expressing them a little more,” Dakota Malit of Great Barrington said. 

According to the study, there were 177 anti-Semitic acts of vandalism or harassment in Massachusetts in 2017. 

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