The FBI said on Monday that the number of U.S. police departments reporting hate crimes plummeted last year as it shifted to a new crime reporting system, but participating agencies continued to report an overall increase in hate crimes.
In its closely watched annual hate crime report, the FBI said about 4,000 of the nation’s more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies did not report any hate crime last year, lowering police departments’ rate of participation in the FBI’s data collection to nearly 65% from 93% the previous year.
The FBI’s annual report is widely used as a broad measure of hate crimes in America. The sharp drop in the number of police agencies reporting data to the agency makes it difficult to tell whether hate crimes rose or fell last year even as other data indicate an overall upward trend.
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