NEW YORK (AP/WCBS 880) – New York officials say there were 699 hate crimes statewide last year, up two percent from a year earlier. They were mainly incidents of vandalism, assault and intimidation based on religious, racial, ethnic and sex biases.

WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi Reports

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The Division of Criminal Justice Services says 350 hate crimes were reported in New York City, up from 275 the year before, while the total declined elsewhere from 394 to 337.

The report says 31 percent of the hate crimes were anti-Jewish, 20 percent anti-black, 16 percent against male homosexuals and 8 percent against Hispanics.

The total includes 460 crimes against people and 239 against property.

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The agency notes 97 offenders convicted, with 36 percent incarcerated and 9 percent receiving probation.

“It’s the motivation that makes hate crimes something that we focus on,” Sean Byrne, acting commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, told WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi. “Bias motivated crimes of this nature tear at the fabric of our civilized society.”

He notes that this is just a tiny fraction of the state’s overall reported crime.

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