The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes
New York City’s crime decline continues to outpace the rest of the U.S., yet both the city and country have seen an unacceptable increase in hate crimes. According to NYPD data, hate crime incidents in the city increased by 64 percent between 2018 and 2019. Arrests for hate crimes also increased during the same time period.
New York City defines a hate crime, or bias incident, as “any offense or unlawful act that is motivated in whole or substantial part by a person’s, a group’s or a place’s identification with a particular” protected characteristic, including race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, or transgender status.
Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) in summer 2019. Embedded in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, OPHC will take a holistic approach to preventing hate crimes, developing and coordinating community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling such crimes, and fostering healing for victims and their communities. The new office will coordinate City efforts to prevent and respond to hate crimes through an interagency committee, which includes the NYPD, City Commission on Human Rights, Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, Department of Education, Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, ThriveNYC, and Department of Youth and Community Development.
The new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will be strategic in using non-law enforcement deterrence, including public education, outreach and community safety models and preventative best practices. It will also work with partners to develop responses for when hate crimes occur, including developing diversion programs and other strategies so that the NYPD, District Attorney’s Offices, defenders and judges have options beyond arrest and prosecution to deal with hate crime perpetrators.
OPHC will also support NYPD training and other responses that address the concerns of frequently targeted groups to help improve the reporting of hate crimes; develop support programs for victims and reconciliation programs; enhance data collection and sharing with the NYPD, District Attorney’s Offices’ hate crimes units, and other partners; and strengthen relationships among victims and law enforcement to enhance criminal justice outcomes and processes for victims. Additionally, OPHC will issue annual public reports on hate crime prevention.
Remember: To report a hate crime in progress or any emergency, call 911. Non-emergencies should be reported to the local precinct.
New York City Police Department
Hate Crime Task Force
19 ½ Pitt Street 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10002
Hate crimes were up 43.1 percent over the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.