COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The Federal Bureau of Investigations has launched a hate crime reporting campaign across South Carolina.
It’s part of a nationwide effort aimed at encouraging citizens to report acts of hate to law enforcement agencies.
Hate crimes are defined as a traditional crimes motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability, according to the Department of Justice.
The campaign will include billboard placements, 30-second videos on gas station pumps (at participating locations,) mobile phone advertisements, and recorded messages on some radio stations.
The FBI says hate crimes are the highest priority when it comes to their civil rights program.
In the last month, the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program released its annual Hate Crime Statistics Report for 2020, there were 7,764 reported hate crime incidents nationwide compared to 7,314 reported in 2019.
South Carolina reported 110 incidents this year 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 a 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 fbi.gov/tips. You may remain anonymous.