Hate crimes in LA County rise to highest level since 2002: Report

Reported hate crimes in 2021 in Los Angeles County, the most populous in the US, increased to the highest level since 2002, said a new report.

According to the 2021 Hate Crime Report released on Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, there were 786 reported hate crimes, a 23 per cent spike from the previous year.

For the past seven years, hate crimes in the county, home to over 10 million residents, have been trending upwards and since 2013 there has been a 105 per cent increase, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

Around 74 per cent of hate crimes in 2021 were of a violent nature, the highest percentage in at least 20 years, said the report.

It showed that hate crimes in the county grew across all motivation categories, but the largest increase was in racial crimes which jumped 17 per cent from 406 to 473.

Although they only comprise about 9 per cent of the county’s population, African-Americans were again disproportionately targeted and comprised 46 per cent of racial hate crime victims.

There were 77 anti-Asian crimes, the largest number in at least 20 years. In nearly a quarter of these attacks, the victims were blamed for the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the report.

The report also noted that religious crimes spiked 29 per cent and the rate of violence was the highest on record, with 74 per cent of these attacks targeting Jews.

In addition, the report showed that sexual orientation crimes increased 15 per cent.

The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations has compiled and produced the annual report based on hate crime data submitted by police agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organisations since 1980.

The agency said the report is “one of the longest-standing efforts in the nation to document hate crime”.

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