COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) — According to the FBI, the number of reported hate crimes in Vermont rose last year.
The FBI report released Monday shows hate crimes increased from eight in 2015 to 25 in 2016. It is the highest number of reported hate crimes in the last seven years.
Hate crimes are defined by the FBI as “a traditional offense like murder, arson or vandalism with an added element of bias.”
Vermont’s large increase mirrors a similar national trend. There were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent over the previous year. In 2015 and 2016, that number was driven by crimes against people because of their race or ethnicity.
In Vermont, 64 percent of hate crime victims were targeted for their race or ethnicity.