Hate crimes down slightly in ’07

Hate crimes in the United States declined slightly last year, according to the FBI.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations’ annual report on hate crime data documented 7,624 hate crimes in 2007, compared to 7,722 in 2006. Crimes directed against Hispanics, gay men and lesbians increased, however; with the rise in acts due to sexual orientation at nearly 6 percent.

Religion-based crimes fell to 1,400 in 2007 from 1,462 in 2006. The number of anti-Jewish crimes was about the same – 969 in ’07 and 967 the previous year.

"While we welcome the fact that reported hate crimes declined slightly in 2007, violent bigotry is still disturbingly prevalent in America, with nearly one hate crime occurring every hour of every day of the year," said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.

Foxman said the ADL is looking forward to working with the new president and Congress in January on ways to combat the problem, including the passage of legislation that would expand the federal government’s ability to assist local authorities in investigating and prosecuting such crimes.

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