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FBI: Hate crimes down on Long Island in 2018, spike in NYC

Hate crimes on Long Island decreased across the board in 2018 while New York City saw a 7% spike, according to the latest FBI statistics released Tuesday.

Reports from more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide were tabulated for the report, the FBI’s latest compilation about bias-motivated crimes. The law enforcement agency defines bias crimes as those where a person or persons are victimized based on their race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

Overall the FBI data showed that nationwide, the amount of hate crimes reported last year were the same as in 2017. But the percentage of hate crime offenses nationwide, such as assaults and homicides, increased to 66 percent in 2018, up from about 60 percent in 2017.

Some jurisdictions, such as the NYPD, call hate crimes “bias crimes” but generally categorize the offenses the same as the FBI. On Long Island, the bulk of the towns and villages — from Sands Point to Port Washington — reported no hate crime offenses.

The NYPD reported 341 hate crimes to the FBI in 2018, compared with 318 in 2017, according to the federal data. The most common offense tabulated in the city in both years focused on religion, while race and ethnicity comprised the next largest category, followed by sexual orientation, according to the FBI data.

Through early October, the NYPD reported an increase in bias crimes this year to 323 from 243 at the same time in 2018, a jump of about 33 percent, including a number of anti-Semitic incidents.

During a crime briefing last week, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said the department was putting significant resources into dealing with incidents aimed at the Jewish population in Brooklyn.

Most of the suspects are between the ages of 15 to 20 Shea said. The latest spate of attacks involved vehicles pulling up to victims and shining flashlights at them and yelling anti-Semitic words or exiting the vehicle and committing assaults.

The picture was more promising on Long Island, which, unlike New York City where the NYPD is the main policing agency, Nassau, Suffolk and a number of town and village police departments each report data to the FBI. For 2018, the Nassau police department reported 19 hate crimes, down nearly 50 percent from 37 in 2017. Suffolk police reported 21 such offenses, down from 36 in 2017, a drop of nearly 42 percent.

Two other Long Island jurisdictions also figured into the FBI report — Southampton Town and Hempstead Village. Southampton Town reported three hate or bias offenses in 2018, the same as in 2017, while Hempstead was also unchanged in reporting one hate crime in both 2018 and 2107.

Stony Brook University police reported five hate crime offenses in 2018 compared to none in 2017, the FBI reported.  

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