There were 81 reported bias crimes and incidents reported to the Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement and Eugene Police Department in 2018, according to the Hate and Bias Report released by the city on Wednesday. Of those, 47 were hate crimes, while 34 were non-criminal incidents.
That’s a 42 percent decrease from 2017, although the press release noted that nationally, an estimated 54 percent of hate crimes aren’t reported to law enforcement, according to a 2017 Department of Justice Hate Crime Victimization report.
“While we celebrate the reduction in hate crimes and incidents, we know that a single case is too many,” Mayor Lucy Vinis said in a press release. “If we want to make Eugene a welcoming city for everyone, we need to make sure that government and community work together to say no to hate and discrimination.”
Vandalism, assault and intimidation were the most common reported crimes to EPD, according to the report. Race appeared to be the leading motivating factor, with 17 race-related cases, although the dataset is too small to be conclusive, according to the press release.
The African-American community was most impacted by physical violence with three reported cases, and the Jewish community was most affected by criminal vandalism with five cases. The Latino/Hispanic community with seven incidents, and LGBT and Jewish communities with six incidents each, were targeted by non-criminal hate and bias incidents.
The location distribution of the reported crimes and non-criminal incidents didn’t change significantly, with the majority of reports coming from central Eugene neighborhoods.
Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement, part of the Eugene City Manager’s Office, collects statistical information on criminal and non-criminal hate and bias activity and provides victim support and community response to hate and bias activity in Eugene. EPD is also responsible for taking reports on and investigating hate and bias crimes.
“Eugene has a strong network of residents and community organizations that support human rights and condemn acts of hate and bigotry against people who live here or visit the city,” Fabio Andrade from Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement said in a press release. “Despite that, many crimes and incidents motivated by hate and bias are not reported. We are working closer with community groups to increase awareness of this issue and to send a strong message that this city wants everyone to feel welcome here.”