April 12, 2021

MORRIS COUNTY AFRO-AMERICAN NEWS

MORRIS COUNTY AFRO-AMERICAN NEWS

Reported Hate Crimes Doubled In 5 NJ Counties

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Efforts from law enforcement to standardize the reporting of bias crimes may attribute to some of the increase, state officials said.

NEW JERSEY — The number of reported hate crimes more than doubled in five of New Jersey’s 21 counties last year, according to the Office of Attorney General. State officials released county-specific data this week as it continues to analyze an increase in such incidents from 2019-20.

A “bias incident” is a suspected or confirmed violation of New Jersey’s bias-intimidation statute, in which a victim is subjected to harassment, assault, terroristic threats or other specified acts “because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.”

The state attorney general’s office revealed last week that reported bias crimes increased in New Jersey over the past year, from 994 in 2019 to 1,441 in 2020. State officials partially attribute the increase to efforts from law enforcement to standardize the reporting of bias crimes.