Vermont law enforcement reported 32 percent rise in hate crimes last year

Local News

On October, three Bridport men were arraigned for their alleged involvement in a string of crimes that police say targeted migrant farmworkers in Addison County.

New federal data shows the number of reported hate crimes in Vermont last year spiked by nearly a third over 2017.

State law enforcement agencies reported 45 hate crimes last year, according to the FBI’s latest figures, up from from the 34 in 2017. The number agencies reporting hate crimes also rose, from 17 in 2017 to 27 in 2018. There were 15 reported hate crimes in 2016, with 25 agencies reporting at least one.

The numbers show that 30 out of the 45 hate crimes voluntarily reported to the FBI were race related, 11 were based on religion, three on sexual orientation and one based on disability.

The Burlington Police Department reported eight hate crimes — almost double the number that of any other law enforcement agency. Seven of the crimes were race related, according to the data.

State Police Capt. Garry Scott says the agency has increased efforts to reduce the number of reported hate crimes and better under the needs of the communities they serve.

Scott says he expects the number of reported hate crimes to rise again next year.

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