1999 Hate Crimes Report
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This 1999 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 1999 under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) information system. Currently, 400 agencies participate in the UCR system and this Report is based solely on the information provided to FDLE by the reporting agencies.
The 1999 Report includes data from 94 law enforcement agencies, an increase of 49 percent over the 63 reporting agencies in 1998. Over all, 23 percent of the 400 participating agencies reported hate crimes this year.
The number of reported hate crimes grew in direct proportion, from 203 in 1998 to 307 in 1999 — a 51 percent increase. Although several factors may have contributed to the increase in the reported number of hate crime incidents, one likely reason would appear to be the increase in the number of law enforcement agencies reporting. In addition, law enforcement agencies have received more specialized training in detecting, identifying, investigating and reporting crimes motivated by hate.
Since 1994, this office has conducted hate crimes training seminars for state and local law enforcement agencies through out Florida. To date, more than 2,800 police personnel in over 150 jurisdictions have received this training.
The 307 reported hate crime offenses represent criminal behavior that has been defined, categorized, and codified in Florida Statutes. The general motivation patterns underlying these incidents remain fairly consistent with previous years. For example, race remains the most common motivation for hate crimes, accounting for 58.6 percent of the 1999 incidents, a decrease when compared to 62.6 percent in 1998. The other motivation types in the report were ethnicity 10.1 percent, religious beliefs 15.6 percent, and sexual orientation 15.6 percent. The number of reported hate crimes increased slightly for religious and sexually motivated types in 1999, while racial and ethnically motivated types decreased.
Hate crimes are classified by two types of offenses, crimes against persons and crimes against property. Crimes against persons accounted for 69 percent of all reported hate crimes in 1999, an increase from 62 percent in 1998. These include robbery, assault, intimidation, and murder. Crimes against property accounted for 31 percent of all reported hate crimes in 1999, a decrease from 38 percent in 1998. These include vandalism, arson and burglary.
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 law enforcement agency.