- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

The number of hate crimes reported to the U.S. Department of Justice has been on the decline in recent years.

Law enforcement agencies across the country reported 5,928 hate crime incidents to the FBI in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The crime data collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting program is voluntary, and not all agencies participate.

By comparison, law enforcement agencies reported 7,783 incidents in 2008, the highest number over the past decade. Roughly half the reported incidents each year between 2008 and 2013 involved race while less than a quarter were motivated by religion.

Racially motivated hate crimes have declined steadily, from a high of 4,042 in 2004 to 2,871 in 2013.

FBI figures show the number of hate crimes reported in South Carolina has fluctuated over the past five years, but so has participation in the program. In 2013, 39 South Carolina agencies reported 51 hate crimes. That would seem to be a significant drop from the previous year’s total of 148, yet those figures were collected from far more law enforcement agencies: 68.



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