PHOENIX - With hate crimes on the rise in Arizona, the FBI is launching a statewide campaign to increase awareness and encourage citizens to report incidents.
Federal hate crimes - criminal acts that generally involve the use of force or violence and are motivated in some part by biases against the victims' race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity — are historically underreported, the FBI said Wednesday in a press release.
The FBI's recently released Uniform Crime Reporting Program numbers for 2020 showed 282 single-bias incidents in Arizona, the most since 2001 and a 35% increase from the previous year.
FBI Phoenix Launches Hate Crime Reporting Campaign: The FBI in Phoenix is launching a hate crimes awareness campaign to encourage people to report incidents to law enforcement. https://t.co/H8QzhGCOT5
— FBI Phoenix (@FBIPhoenix) October 7, 2021
In Arizona, race/ethnicity/ancestry was the bias motivator in 70% of the incidents, religion for 13% and sexual orientation 12%.
The Arizona awareness campaign, which ties with a national campaign, includes paid ads on billboards, radio stations, media websites and social media.
In addition, the FBI is working with local leaders from diverse communities to promote awareness and encourage reporting, according to the release.
Anybody with knowledge about potential federal hate crimes or who believes they were a victim can report it by calling 800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or online at tips.fbi.gov.