Hate Crimes in US Increased by Five Percent in 2016

There were eight reports of religion motivated hate crimes previous year but zero reports of gender motivated hate crimes.

Excluding a handful of "multiple bias" incidents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said 57.5 percent of all incidents a year ago were based on hate related to race, ethnicity or ancestry.

The number of reported hate crimes in the United States has risen for the second straight year in 2016, according to statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the task force he appointed on crime reduction is exploring ways to revise training for police and prosecutors, and to improve data collection on hate crimes.

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Going forward. The FBI, through its UCR Program, will continue to collect and disseminate information on hate crime-as a means to educate and increase awareness of these types of crimes for the public as well as for law enforcement, government, community leaders, civic organizations, and researchers around the country.

Some civil rights groups caution that the FBI's annual figures are artificially low because they rely on voluntary reporting.

An unrelated report released in February found the number of hate groups in the U.S.

In California, the numbers also rose along with the rest of the nation: From 837 hate crimes in 2015 to 931 in 2016.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is now engaging with state and local leaders and to find ways to better prevent and prosecute hate crimes. Hate incidents increased from 203 in 2015 to 285 in 2016.

And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 crimes that were motivated by religion - in the Bay Area, one of the most high-profile attacks was a swastika painted on Temple Sinai in Oakland on Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest Jewish days of the year.

Of the 6,121 criminal incidents reported, 6,063 were single-bias incidents (there were also 58 multiple-bias incidents).

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