Hate crimes up in 2016, Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show

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Hate crimes increased in the US last year, according to new data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Anti-white incidents increased from 613 incidents in 2015 to 720 incidents in 2016.

There were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent over the previous year.

Nearly 20 percent of racial hate crimes during 2016 were committed due to "anti white bias" showing a 15 percent increase in anti white hate crimes since 2015, according to the FBI Data.

About 57 percent of the 6,121 incidents reported to law enforcement were motivated by race or ethnicity, with the half of race-related crimes motivated by anti-black bias. The numbers show a 15.2 increase from 2015's hate crimes, when 18.2 percent of racial hate crimes (789 total) were done over "anti-white bias", the 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation report said.

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Former FBI Director James Comey said earlier this year that the FBI must "do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime, to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it".

The incidents were reported by almost 16,000 law enforcement agencies and affected a total of 7,615 victims.

The remaining incidents were motivated by a gender identity, disability, or gender bias.

The findings are consistent with a February report by a civil rights group that found the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the country had increased over the past year.

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"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Mr. Sessions said.

Several incidents of vandalism at Las Palmas Mexican Grocery in Brookline, including a brick through its window in January and a mural defaced with the words "illegal trespassers", "liars" and "America haters" in April, were not charged as hate crimes , said Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler. More than half those incidents were motivated by the victim's race.

There were also 105 incidents against transgender people, a 44 percent increase compared to 2015.

Of the 7,615 overall victims, 4,720 were victims of crimes against persons (both adults and juveniles), 2,813 were victims of crimes against property, and 82 were victims of hate crimes categorized as crimes against society (e.g., weapons violations, drug offenses, gambling).

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