ADL hails drop in hate crimes, but decries number as ‘far too many’

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Anti-Defamation League welcomed an FBI report showing a decrease in hate crimes over the past 10 years but said there were still “far too many” such crimes.

There were 6,222 hate crimes reported during 2011, according to the report released Monday. The  year 2000 showed slightly more than 8,000 hate crimes.

The 2011 figure was a 6 percent decrease from 2010 and the least number of such crimes reported since 1994.

Crimes listed “anti-Jewish” as the motivation also fell, to 771 reported last year from the 1,109 in 2000.

The ADL in a release welcomed the report, calling it the “single most important snapshot” of violent bigotry in the country.

“Yet, 6,222 reported hate crimes — about one every 90 minutes of every day — is far too many,” the ADL statement said. “The increase in the number of reported hate crimes directed against gays and lesbians, now the second most frequent category of crime, is especially disturbing.”

The ADL termed as “troubling” that “Jews and Jewish institutions continued to be principle targets, accounting for 63 percent of all religion-based hate crimes in 2011 — showing, once again, that anti-Semitism is still a serious and deeply entrenched problem in America.”

The FBI report does not account for unreported hate crimes, the ADL noted, and at least 79 cities with populations greater than 100,000 either did not participate or reported zero hate crimes.

“Law enforcement agencies must demonstrate that they are ready and willing to respond to hate violence,” the ADL said.

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