The FBI launched a hate crime reporting campaign this month in South Carolina as part of a nationwide effort to encourage reporting to law enforcement.
The advertising campaign in the state includes billboard messages, 30-second videos on gas station pumps at participating locations, mobile cellular telephone advertisements, and recorded messages on various radio stations.
Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program. The Department of Justice defines a hate crime as a traditional crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
Last month, the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program released its annual Hate Crime Statistics Report for 2020. The report showed nationwide there were 7,764 reported hate crime incidents compared to 7,314 reported in 2019. South Carolina reported 110 incidents compared to 57 reported in 2019. The state’s data is compiled from 398 reporting law enforcement agencies.
“No one should ever be subjected to hate crimes in our society,” said Susan Ferensic, FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of the Columbia Field Office. “This campaign shows that the FBI is dedicated to pursuing offenders of these heinous crimes and holding them accountable.”
If you believe you are victim or a witness of a hate crime, you are encouraged to report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting a tip at tips.fbi.gov. You may remain anonymous.