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New FBI Stats Show Spike In Phoenix Hate Crimes

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 9:04pm
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Newly released FBI statistics show Phoenix saw a significant rise in hate crimes in 2015. The figures also show the city has far more reported incidents than other comparable areas. But those numbers are a bit misleading.

According to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, the amount of hate crimes reported last year in Phoenix jumped to 231, from 183 — an increase of more than 26 percent.

Also alarming was that cities with similar populations like Dallas and San Antonio, reported just a handful of incidents in 2015.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said there might be a good reason for that disparity.

“I think what you’re seeing is that we have a unit of detectives specifically dedicated to fighting bias crimes. So, because of that we probably have a better rate of identifying crimes that are bias motivated," Howard said.

Experts say many hate crimes may be going under reported in other places.

As for an increase in incidents since last week’s election, Howard said there’s been no evidence of that in Phoenix.