While hate crimes in Alaska are extremely rare, the number increased slightly from 2017 to 2018 according to the FBI’s latest Hate Crimes Statistics released this month. Nationally, however, the number of hate crimes decreased – from 7,175 in 2017 to 7,120 in 2018. More than 16,000 law enforcement agencies provided data for the study.
In 2018 Alaska reported no hate crimes that were motivated by bias against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender. Anchorage reported one hate crime related to bias against race/ethnicity/ancestry. Fairbanks had two hate crimes under this category and one related to disability. Juneau reported two hate crimes against people for their religion, and Kotzebue reported one hate crime due to race motivations.
In 2017 Alaska reported only three hate crimes – two motivated by race and one due to a person’s religious beliefs.
Nationally, the majority of hate crimes were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias (59.6%). Additional biases included religion (18.7%), sexual orientation (16.7%), gender identity (2.2%), disability (2.1%), and gender (0.7%). All crimes were broken down into three categories: crimes against persons (65%), against property (31%), and against society (3.4%).
Hate crimes are the highest investigative priority within the FBI’s civil rights program. Researchers use the data to gain a more accurate picture of the problem in order to develop data-focused approaches to combating hate crimes.