Civil Rights

2005 Hate Crimes Report

The report is available for downloading in Adobe Acrobat format.

Executive Summary

This 2005 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 2005 under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) information system. Currently, 427 agencies participate in the UCR system, and this report is based solely on the information provided to FDLE by the reporting agencies.

Of the 427 participating agencies, 96 agencies reported hate crimes in 2005, a slight increase from the 95 agencies that reported hate crimes the previous year. This year’s total represents 22.5 percent of agencies that participate in the UCR reporting system.

One year ago, the annual Hate Crimes in Florida Report showed a total of 334 reported hate crimes. Figures improved in 2005, when the overall number of reported hate crimes declined by 22.2 percent from the previous year. The 260 reported hate crimes in 2005 represented the lowest annual total since 1998. Several factors may have contributed to the decrease in the reported number of hate crime incidents, including variations in reporting methods.

Hate crimes are tracked not only by their sheer numbers, but also by the nature of the ill will behind the offenses. During 2005, hate crimes motivated by the victim’s race represented 50.0 percent of all reported hate crimes, followed by ethnicity and national origin, 22.3 percent; religion, 13.8 percent; and sexual orientation, 13.1 percent. One hate crime was reported under the category of mental disability and another under the category of advanced age; none was reported under the category of physical disability.

Hate crimes are classified by two broad categories of offenses: crimes against persons and crimes against property. Reports for 2005 showed that a smaller share of hate crimes were directed at persons than in the previous year, with a corresponding increase in the share directed at property. Crimes against persons accounted for 71 percent of all incidents reported in 2005, down from 76 percent in 2004, while crimes against property accounted for the remaining 29 percent, up from 24 percent in 2004.

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 they gather and report hate crime data . 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.

Since 1994, this office has conducted hate crimes training seminars for state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Florida. Through the end of 2005, more than 3,500 law enforcement personnel from more than 272 jurisdictions had received this training.