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Rate of Hate Crimes Down in Southern Nevada

Brian J Smith Jan. 20, 2015

When looking at hate crimes and how frequently they occur across the United States, recent figures have shown a decrease in these types of crimes across the nation. Southern Nevada especially has seen a major drop in hate crimes, suggesting that crimes of this nature are not occurring as frequently as in previous years. But with a vague definition of hate crimes among lawmakers and the FBI, these positive statistics should be taken with a grain of salt. Find out why a drop in hate crimes may not indicate an actual decline in these types of crimes taking place in Las Vegas.

Hate crime rate decreasing in Las Vegas

Henderson, Metro and North Las Vegas police departments have shared recent data regarding hate crimes that show a 21% drop in hate crime rates. Additionally, hate crime rates have dropped in nearly every city across the nation. Hate crimes around the nation have dropped by 10%, indicating that these crimes are not happening as frequently as in previous years.

Differing definitions of hate crimes

One of the problems with these new statistics is a vague definition of hate crimes among law enforcement and lawmakers. FBI and other forms of law enforcement define hate crimes as traditional offenses with bias factored into the crime. Meanwhile, lawmakers define hate crimes as committing an offense against another person solely because of their race of beliefs. This vagueness has caused many cases to be omitted from being deemed a hate crime, impacting the national statistics of crimes of this nature.

Another obstacle in finding reliable and factual hate crime statistics is the difficulty of proving bias in a crime. While it may seem obvious that a person committed a crime based on their bias towards another person or race, it is extremely hard to prove their intent in court. Since it is so easy to refute or dismiss a hate crime claim, most crimes of this nature can only be proven if the evidence proving bias in the crime is clear cut and immediately apparent.

While the numbers may indicate a drop in hate crimes in Las Vegas, these figures are not indicative of the actual rate of hate crimes across the country. For more information on hate crimes or to speak with a reliable Las Vegas criminal lawyer, give us a call today at (702) 380-8248.