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A well-known robber named Willie Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks. He answered: "Because that's where the money is."

Criminal motivation is not always so straightforward--especially with crimes motivated by the offender's bias. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has been collecting statistics on crimes motivated by a bias against a race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin since 1992 and against a disability since 1994. The hate crime data collection program is viewed by many as the essential first step toward quantifying these occurrences in our Nation.

During 2003, nearly 12,000 law enforcement agencies identified 7,489 criminal incidents that were motivated by the offender's irrational antagonism toward some personal attribute associated with the victim. In Hate Crime Statistics, 2003, the FBI through its UCR hate crime data collection program publishes the data collected by these agencies about the 8,715 offenses, the 9,100 victims, and 6,934 offenders involved in these incidents.

Recognizing that participation by law enforcement and the public is essential to achieving a national hate crime database, the UCR Program has been proactive in expanding law enforcement's reporting and increasing public awareness of its hate crime program. In addition to publishing this report, the FBI has traveled to hundreds of sites and trained thousands of law enforcement personnel, teaching them to recognize and properly document bias-motivated incidents. As an adjunct to this training, the Program worked for more than two years to develop a Web-based hate crime identification and scoring curriculum. This self-paced course for law enforcement has been available through the Law Enforcement OnLine Internet since the summer of 2002. Further, the FBI continues to encourage law enforcement agencies to report crime statistics via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Through the NIBRS, agencies can provide more detailed information about each criminal incident, including incidents involving hate crimes.

Reaching out to the public, the UCR Program has published hate crime training materials on the FBI's Internet site, encouraging private citizens to review and use these materials. Also, the FBI makes copies of this publication available at no charge to all who request them.

As information-sharing technology improves in the coming years, the UCR Program will make every effort to assure that hate crime data collection has a high priority in the developing criminal justice information-sharing systems. The UCR Program is committed to achieving a national hate crime database that will support valid observations and legitimate assumptions about these types of crimes--information that may ultimately raise the public consciousness to a level that prompts remedial actions.
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Title Annotation:FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting
Publication:Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:Appendix--state uniform crime reporting programs.
Next Article:Introduction.

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