New York, NY, October 27, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed findings from the annual FBI crime report released today that indicated that hate crimes across the country declined from record high levels of 2001. The League called for increased education and training for police agencies and expanded coordination between federal and state authorities to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
The 2002 FBI hate crime data, released today and collected under the mandate of the 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA), documented 7,462 hate crimes – an almost 23 percent decrease from the 9,730 hate crimes reported by the FBI in 2001. The report documents over 1,400 religion-based crimes – more than 65 percent directed against Jews and Jewish institutions.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We are pleased that this FBI study indicates that reported hate crimes have declined from last year's record high numbers. Still, it is impossible to be complacent about a report that identifies almost 7,500 acts of vandalism and violence directed at individuals and institutions on the basis of their race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability.
To empower state law enforcement officials to address hate violence in the most effective manner, Congress must act to permit federal authorities to provide the full range of assistance to these local officials prosecuting hate crimes and, when appropriate, investigate and prosecute hate crimes in those circumstances where state and local officials cannot or will not act themselves.