Broward Hate Crimes Totaled More Than Any Other Florida County Last Year

There were fewer hate crimes in Broward in 2010 than in 2009, but it's still a higher total than any other county in Florida.

The 2010 report of hate crimes statewide was released today by the attorney general's office, which reports 19 of the state's 149 hate crimes last year occurred in Broward.

There are seven categories of individuals or groups identified as motivations for hate crimes in the state, although Broward only tallied up three -- crimes based on sexual orientation, race, and religion.

Eight were based on sexual orientation, with six for race, and five for religion.

Most of the crimes in Broward were either assault or vandalism-related, and the agencies reporting the most hate crimes in 2010 were the Broward Sheriff's Office and the Hallandale Police Department, which each reported four.

Broward bucks the statewide trend in which race accounts for nearly half of all hate crimes. In Broward, about 42 percent of the hate crimes stem from bias against sexual orientation.

There were nine hate crimes reported in Palm Beach County during 2010, seven motivated by religion, and two motivated by race.

Which races, sexual orientations, or religions were motivators for the hate crimes are not disclosed.

If it's worth anything, people are attacking people slightly less, and committing crimes against property a little more. Crimes against people are down from 71.6 percent of all hate crimes in 2009 to 66.4 percent in 2010.

Just as is the case with most crime reports, the attorney general's office issues a disclaimer that attempts to "rank" counties or agenicies by the number of hate crimes reported can be misleading, as the reporting policies can vary between agencies. The report says it would "unfairly penalize" agencies to make it appear as if their jurisdiction is more prone to hate crimes even if they're just more accurate at reporting hate crimes.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley