Civil Rights

2007 Hate Crimes Report

The report is available for downloading in Adobe Acrobat format.

Executive Summary

This 2007 Hate Crimes in Florida Report, submitted in accordance with the 1989 Hate Crimes Reporting Act, contains data reported by individual local law enforcement agencies throughout Florida. These agencies reported the occurrence of hate crime incidents in 2007 under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) information system. Currently, 417 agencies participate in the UCR system and this report is based solely on the information provided to FDLE by the reporting agencies. Of the 417 participating agencies, 73 agencies reported hate crimes in 2007, a decrease from the 92 agencies that reported hate crimes the previous year.

One year ago, the annual Hate Crimes in Florida Report showed a total of 259 reported hate crimes. The 193 reported hate crimes in 2007 represents the lowest annual total since 1998. Several factors may have contributed to the decrease in the reported number of hate crime incidents, including increased training of law enforcement officials.

The report shows not only the number of hate crimes committed, but also by the nature of the ill will behind the offenses. During 2007, hate crimes motivated by the victim’s race represented 53.9 percent of all reported hate crimes, followed by ethnicity/national origin at 17.1 percent; religion at 14.5 percent; and sexual orientation at 14.5 percent. No hate crimes were reported under the categories of disability or advanced age.

There are two broad categories of hate crime offenses: crimes against persons and crimes against property. Reports for 2007 showed a slight increase of hate crimes directed at persons than in the previous year, with a corresponding decrease in the share directed at property. Crimes against persons accounted for 66.8 percent of all incidents reported in 2007, up slightly from 66 percent in 2006, while crimes against property accounted for the remaining 33.2 percent, down slightly from 34 percent in 2006.

Caution should be applied in interpreting this data and in drawing conclusions solely from information contained in this report, as variations may exist among law enforcement agencies in how hate crime data is gathered and reported. It is important to note that this report does not include unreported crimes or crimes that may be hate-related but are not classified as such by the local reporting agencies.