The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) on Wednesday released its annual analysis of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County. At 6.2 hate crimes per 100,000 residents in 2013, the Antelope Valley had the highest rate of hate crimes per population. The Metro Region, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights, had the second highest rate of hate crimes with 5.6 per 100,000 residents. (pg. 42)
The Antelope Valley region – Lancaster, Quartz Hill, Palmdale, Littlerock, Lake Los Angeles, Acton and Gorman – has consistently ranked among the top regions for hate crimes per 100,000 residents in past years. In 2012, 2010 and 2008, the AV had the highest rate of hate crimes when accounting for population; and in 2011 and 2009, the area ranked second.
Overall, however, hate crimes throughout Los Angeles County in 2013 decreased 17% from 462 to 384, the lowest number in 24 years.
“I attribute the continued decrease of hate crimes to a strong working relationship between law enforcement, educators and a broad array of dedicated community-based organizations throughout L.A. County,” Sheriff John L. Scott stated in a press release. “Collectively, we have made hate crime prevention efforts a priority and we are seeing the results of this work.”
“We’re gratified that in 2013, the number of hate crimes in L.A. County was about half of what was reported six years ago, and there’s a strong downward trend of youth involvement in hate crimes,” Robin Toma, LACCHR Executive Director, stated in a press release. “However, on average more than one hate crime was reported every day in 2013, and not every group saw a decline in hate crimes.”
Similar to past years, four groups constituted 82% of all hate crime victims in 2013: African Americans, lesbians and gay men, Jews, and Latinos. However, two groups saw dramatic decreases. Crimes targeting gay men dropped 41% from 119 to 70, and anti-Jewish crimes declined 48% from 81 to 42.
Moreover, juveniles are showing up less and less as hate crime suspects, becoming the smallest age group for the first time in at least the past 10 years. Persons under 18 went from being the largest age group among hate crime suspects (40%) in 2006, to being the smallest (14%).
Furthermore, the most serious criminal offenses also declined. For the first time in 10 years, there were no murders or attempted murders. Aggravated assaults (which include assaults with deadly weapons and physical attacks causing greater bodily injury) decreased 38%.
Although reports of hate crimes against most targeted groups declined, there were some groups which saw increases in 2013 compared to the previous year. These include Lesbians (11 to 25), Transgender persons (13 to 19), Asian/Pacific Islanders (12 to 15), Protestants (4 to 8), and Middle Easterners (4 to 5). Hate crimes with anti-immigrant slurs did not see a decline either (15 to 15).
Hate crimes occurred throughout all regions of Los Angeles County, but the largest number took place in the San Fernando Valley. However, when accounting for population, the Antelope Valley had the highest rate of hate crimes, followed by the Metro region, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights.
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