Sikhs were the third most targeted community in 2018 after Jews and Muslims for hate crimes on the religious bias with 60 incidents reported, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in its annual report. There were 1,617 victims of anti-religious hate crimes of which 4.3 per cent were victims of anti-Sikh bias. According to the FBI’s uniform crime reporting (UCR) statistics, most numbers of hate-crimes were reported against Jews with 835 victims followed by Muslims with 188 victims.
The Sikh Coalition, a Sikh civil rights organisation in the United States, said it was disheartening that hate crimes remain systematically underreported across the US. The Sikh Coalition, quoting the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, said that Americans experience an average of 250,000 hate crimes per year but the latest FBI data only managed to document 7,120 incidents.
“At the end of the day, this data simply isn’t giving us the accurate information we need to effectively counteract hate against targeted communities,” said Sim J. Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy.
“It’s past time for action. Congress must pass the next generation of common-sense legislation that equips law enforcement to better identify and track hate incidents with the bipartisan Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act,” he added.
The hate crime statistics under UCR provided data under various categories such as ‘racial/ethnicity/ancestry bias’, ‘sexual orientation bias’, ‘gender-identity Bias’, ‘disability bias’, and others. There were 1,943 incidents of hate crime against anti-Black or African American out of 4,047 incidents against race/ethnicity/ancestry. On disability bias, anti-mental hate crimes were ahead of anti-physical hate crimes with 99 reported incidents.
Though the FBI finds the UCR statistics useful for budget formulation, planning, resource allocation, assessment of police operations, etc., to help address the crime problem at various levels, it discourages the use of UCR data as the sole basis by ranking agencies.
“These incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions which adversely affect geographic entities and their residents. For this reason, the FBI has a longstanding policy against ranking participating law enforcement agencies on the basis of crime data alone,” said the FBI.
(With inputs from agencies)