2001 Hate Crimes Report
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This 2001 Hate Crimes in Florida report, submitted in accordance with the 1989 Hate Crimes Reporting Act, contains data reported by individual county and local law enforcement agencies throughout Florida. These agencies reported the occurrence of hate crime incidents in 2001 under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) information system. Currently, 427 agencies participate in the UCR system, and this report is based solely upon the information provided to FDLE by the reporting agencies.
The 2001 report includes data reported by 98 participating agencies, the same number as reported hate crimes the previous year. Some 23 percent of the 427 participating agencies reported hate crimes in 2001.
A total of 335 hate crimes were reported in 2001, an increase of 24.5 percent from the previous year’s total of 269. Although the precise impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks cannot be determined, it appears the events of that day prompted a significant increase in the number of hate crimes committed in Florida — particularly those offenses motivated by the victim’s ethnicity or religion. In a number of Florida cities or counties, all reported hate crimes occurred after September 11, and most or all of these incidents were motivated by ethnicity or religion. In addition, 2001 saw a dramatic shift in the nature of the hate crimes committed in Florida. Throughout the previous decade, fewer than one in four hate crimes in Florida was motivated by ethnicity and religion. In 2001, however, those two motivation factors accounted for almost half the hate crimes committed in the state (28.4 percent for ethnicity and 20.3 percent for religion, up from the previous year’s 10.4 percent for ethnicity and 16.4 percent for religion). The actual number of ethnicity- or religion-motivated hate crimes in 2001 was more than two and one-half times greater than the average for the previous decade.
Even with the sudden increase in hate crimes motivated by ethnicity or religion, the victim’s race also remained a significant factor in Florida’s hate crimes. Some 38.5 percent of reported incidents involved the victim’s race, down from 57.8 percent the previous year. Hate crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation accounted for 12.5 percent of the total, down from 15.2 percent the previous year. In addition, Florida had its first reported incident of a hate crime motivated by the victim’s advanced age, while there were no reported incidents of a hate crime based on the victim’s disability.
Hate crimes are classified by two types of offenses: crimes against persons and crimes against property. In 2001 there was a modest change in the type of offenses reported. In 2001, crimes against persons accounted for 61.8 percent of all incidents reported in 2001, compared to 64.7 percent the previous year. Crimes against property accounted for 38.2 percent of all reported hate crimes in 2001, compared to 35.3 percent the previous year.
Again, caution should be applied in interpreting this data and in drawing conclusions solely from information contained in this report. 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 agencies.