Utah's hate crimes up for third year running

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SALT LAKE CITY — Race-related issues were the most reported types of hate crimes in Utah in 2011, according to newly released statistics from the FBI.

The Hate Crimes Statistics report compiles statistics submitted by law enforcement agencies across the nation regarding hate crimes that involve bias in race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability. The FBI reported 6,222 hate crime incidents in 2011 nationally involving more than 7,700 victims, with nearly half of those crimes being related to racial bias.

In Utah — with a population of more than 2.7 million — 68 hate crimes were reported by police during 2011. California, with a population of more than 37 million, had the most reported hate crimes in 2011 at 1,040, followed by New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

The 2011 statistics mark the third year in a row that the number of reported hate crimes in Utah increased. There were 63 hate crimes reported in 2010; 48 in 2009; 40 in 2008; and 55 in 2007.

According to the FBI's statistics, the most common type of hate crime in 2011 in Utah was racial bias with 29 reported incidents. That was followed by bias over religion and bias over sexual orientation.

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The Unified Police Department investigated the greatest number of hate crimes in Utah in 2011 with 12, according to FBI statistics. It also had the largest number of reported hate crimes concerning race, religion and sexual orientation.

Bountiful had four reported hate crimes in 2011, with three of them relating to religious bias, the FBI reported.

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Pat Reavy


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