Civil Rights

2008 Hate Crimes Report

The report is available for downloading in Adobe Acrobat format.

Executive Summary

This 2008 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 2008 under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) information system. Currently, 415 agencies participate in the UCR system and this report is based solely on the information provided to FDLE by the reporting agencies.

Of the 415 participating agencies, 72 agencies reported hate crimes in 2008, a slight decrease from the 73 agencies that reported hate crimes the previous year. This year's total represents 17.3 percent of agencies that participate in the UCR reporting system. One year ago, the annual Hate Crimes in Florida Report showed a total of 193 reported hate crimes. The 182 reported hate crimes in 2008 represents the lowest annual total since 1997.

The report shows not only the number of hate crimes committed, but also the nature of the factors motivating the offenses. During 2008, hate crimes motivated by the victim's race represented 47.3 percent of all reported hate crimes, followed by religion at 20.9 percent; sexual orientation at 19.2 percent; ethnicity/national origin at 12.1 percent; and mental disability at 0.5 percent. No hate crimes were reported under the categories of physical disability or advanced age.

There are two categories of hate crime offenses: crimes against persons and crimes against property. Reports for 2008 showed a slight decrease in the number of hate crimes directed at persons and property than in the previous year. Crimes against persons accounted for 65.9 percent of all incidents reported in 2008, down slightly from 66.8 percent in 2007, while crimes against property accounted for the remaining 34.1 percent, up slightly from 33.2 percent in 2007.

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.