NJ Politics Digest: Hate Crimes on the Rise in the State

Gurbir Grewal.

Gurbir Grewal. Christian Hetrick for Observer

After years of declines, reports of hate crimes are rising in New Jersey, according to State Police statistics.

NJ.com reports that there were 417 bias incidents reported in New Jersey in 2016, a 14 percent increase from the prior year.

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has said he expects the numbers to continue to climb. And the Democrat appointee isn’t shy about assigning blame for the increase.

“It’s sad that we see bias incidents trending upward, but it’s not surprising, given that we have political leaders in this country who encourage the expression of intolerance and hatred, or in other cases, ignore or countenance it,” Grewal said in a statement.

Grewal told NJ.com that reports from schools represented 27 percent of the reports of such incidents.

While Grewal said the increase is a local reflection of national trends, he added that improvements in reporting could also be responsible for some of the increase.

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NJ Politics Digest: Hate Crimes on the Rise in the State