Rise in Hate Crimes Alarms Orange County, According to OC Human Relations Commission Report

Santa Ana, CA — Alarming statistics reveal a surge in hate crimes in Orange County during the year 2022, as reported by the OC Human Relations Commission in its annual report released on Thursday, September 21.

The findings indicate a startling 67% increase in hate crimes during 2022 compared to the previous year, while hate incidents, though decreasing slightly by 4%, remained a cause for concern. Over the past five years, the report reveals a staggering 75% spike in hate crimes and a shocking 142% increase in hate incidents.

The report's CEO, Alison Edwards, expressed deep concern over the continued targeting of Black and Jewish communities but also highlighted the disturbing 126% surge in hate incidents against the LGBTQ+ community from 2021 to 2022, noting the influence of national rhetoric on this increase.

The rise in hate crimes can also be attributed to a concerning upswing in racist incidents within the county's schools, which witnessed a significant increase in 2022, as per the study's findings.

The report indicates that among school-based hate incidents, the majority occurred at middle schools (50 incidents), closely followed by high schools (38 incidents) in 2022.

Edwards commented, "Anecdotally, we've heard from schools that it aligns with our findings. They have raised concerns, including instances of racial slurs on campus, which our report reflects."

Moreover, the study unveiled a disturbing 178% increase in bigotry at schools compared to 2021. Edwards pointed out that a previous study had revealed that "the polarizing and vitriolic speech of adults is impacting young people, and they're mimicking it, translating to school campuses."

According to the report, hate crimes related to race surged by nearly 80%, religious-based attacks almost doubled, and sexual-orientation offenses increased by about 25% compared to 2021. Disturbingly, anti-Latino attacks doubled, and anti-Black assaults rose by 138%.

Graffiti or vandalism, physical assault, and threats were the most reported hate crimes, with the study noting that almost all hate crime offenders in 2022 were male.

Edwards emphasized the importance of tracking and addressing this information, stating, "It's important to note that the county continues to support tracking this information. We really hope the leaders across our community will continue to speak out against hate and support these communities who are increasingly targeted here and elsewhere."