Public safety

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PLYMOUTH — The number of hate crimes reported to police in the United States went up in 2017, according to a report released by the FBI on Nov. 13.

Law enforcement agencies across the country reported 7,175 hate crimes in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. That’s an increase of about 17 percent.

The FBI did note that though the number of hate crimes did go up, so did the number of agencies that reported hate crime data.

Racial bias was the most common category in single-bias incidents, making up 59.6 percent of cases. Religious bias was next at 20.6 percent, followed by sexual orientation bias at 15.8 percent. There were a total of 7,106 single-bias incidents last year, while there were 69 multiple-bias hate crimes reported.

Of the hate crimes reported, about 5,000 were considered crimes against persons, such as intimidation or assault. About 3,000 were crimes against property, such as vandalism, robbery or burglary.

A look at local data

There were 148 hate crimes reported in Minnesota in 2017, according to FBI data, which shows only about 11 percent of law enforcement agencies in the state submitted data.

Last year saw an increase in bias crimes compared to 2016, when there were 122 reported hate crimes in the state.

Of the agencies in the Lake Minnetonka area that reported hate crimes in 2017, there was one religion bias crime incident, which happened in the city of Plymouth.

In 2016, there were six hate crime incidents in Plymouth. Four categorized as race/ethnicity/ancestry, one as religion and one as sexual orientation.

Other cities in the Lake Minnetonka area also reported hate crimes that year. They include: one race/ethnicity/ancestry bias crime in Wayzata, one religion bias crime in Orono and two religion bias crimes in Minnetonka.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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