LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hate crimes in Los Angeles County dropped to their lowest levels in 24 years, including notable decreases in crimes targeting Jewish and gay victims, officials said Wednesday.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the 2013 Hate Crime Report released by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations also showed the number of hate crimes among Latino and African-American gang members rose last year.
Using data compiled from 100 law enforcement agencies, school districts and community-based organizations across LA County, the Hate Crime Report (PDF) showed the overall number of hate crimes decreased 17 percent from 462 to 384.
Similar to recent years, four groups constituted 82 percent of all hate crime victims in 2013: Latinos, African Americans, Jews, and lesbians and gay men, according to the report.
However, commissioners found the last two groups saw dramatic decreases: crimes targeting gay men dropped 41 percent from 119 to 70, and anti-Jewish crimes declined 48 percent from 81 to 42.
While religion-motivated hate crimes also declined 37 percent since last year, the overwhelming majority — 74 percent — were perpetrated against Jews and Jewish institutions, according to the data. Last year, however, saw by far the lowest number of anti-Semitic crimes in at least 10 years, the study said.
Among those groups that saw increases in reported hate crimes: lesbians (from 11 incidents in 2012 to 25 in 2013), transgender persons (13 to 19), Asian/Pacific Islanders (12 to 15), Protestants (4 to 8), and Middle Easterners (4 to 5), according to officials.
In response to the data, Interim Sheriff John Scott said residents should remember that they live in one of the most diverse communities in the U.S.
“We’re in a big melting pot and everybody has a piece of that, so we need to be tolerant and allow people to engage in their religion and other activities,” said Scott.
Hate crimes occurred throughout all regions of Los Angeles County, but the largest number took place in the San Fernando Valley, according to the Commission. When accounting for population, however, the Antelope Valley had the highest rate of hate crimes, followed by the Metro Los Angeles region, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights.
Click here (PDF) to read the full text of the 2013 Hate Crime Report.