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Hate crimes in California increased by 11% in 2016 says report by Attorney General Becerra

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About half of hate crimes in California were from San Jose, the Bay Area’s largest city.

Is California becoming hostile towards minority population? A report published by Attorney General Xavier Becerra says that there is an increase of 11 percent hate related crimes in California, which is home to more immigrants than any other state in the US.

According to the 2016 report titled Hate Crime in California released recently by Attorney General Becerra, there were 837 hate-motivated attacks in California in 2015, which increased 11 percent in 2016 to reach 931 incidents.

Apparently, the hate crimes in which victims got harassed sexually rose 10.1 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, touching 207 from the earlier figure of 188.

Becerra, announcing the release of the new study earlier this month, said that hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim but an attack on the entire community that he/she represents.

In a press release, Becerra said, “When someone commits a crime motivated by hate, it is not just an attack on one innocent person, but an attack on the entire state and our communities.”

He also added that it is very important that incidents of hate attacks come to light and the perpetrators of such attacks are booked as it will ensure that the community as a whole condemns it and can live a fearless life in California despite their differences.

“We can see from today’s report that words matter and discriminatory rhetoric does not make us stronger but divides us and puts the safety of our communities at risk. This is why condemning hate crimes, discrimination, and racism is critical to ensuring all Californians live without fear of being targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation,” he added.

He also said that it is his prerogative to make sure that the state remains free of such antisocial elements by making sure that the law enforcement laws are fully enforced to protect each citizen. He also requested his fellow Californians to get the assistance of the law enforcement agents if they come under such attacks.

“As California’s attorney general, I am committed to working with local law enforcement agencies, schools, and local communities to enforce California’s anti-hate crime statutes to the fullest extent of the law. I strongly encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of a hate crime to report it to local law enforcement immediately,” he said.

Becerra‘s report is a compilation of the facts and figures produced by the police department, district attorney’s office and other government agencies.

Even though the figures of 2016 show there is an increase in hate crimes in California, a comparison of this number with that of the figures of the last decade show that the hate attacks have decreased.

According to the report, in 2007 alone there were 1,426 hate crimes in California but this number decreased by 34.7 percent in 2016, which is a major achievement of the sensitization and law enforcement agencies.

The report also mentions that the sexual offenses related to hate crimes have also decreased in 2016 when compared to 2007 by 27.1 percent.

In the past one decade, hate crimes related to race/ethnicity/national origin were the most reported and crimes related the sexual orientation was the second most reported.

According to the report, crimes motivated by a bias against gay men went from 108 in 2015 to 152 in 2016, a 40.7 percent jump.

A comparison of the hate crime incidents in different cities of California shows that in San Francisco there were 36 hate crimes and 45 offenses; San Leandro with 22 events and 22 offenses; San Mateo County, 16 events, and 20 offenses; Santa Clara County were 40 events and 97 offenses.

About half of those cases were from San Jose, the Bay Area’s largest city.