Introduction to Bias / Hate Crime Statistics
Bias crime data
Bias crime data is collected as part of the reporting requirements for the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Bias crimes are reported when an investigation reveals that an offender’s actions were motivated, in part or in whole, by a bias against disability, gender, gender identity, race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, or sexual orientation. When a crime is reported to the Portland Police Bureau and there is suspicion of a bias motivation, the case is assigned to the Bias Crime Detail for review. The detective assigned to the case investigates the incident and determines if the crime was motivated by an offender’s bias. Up to five types of bias can be reported per incident. The bias type must fall within at least one of the NIBRS bias type categories to be reported and the crime must be a NIBRS Group A offense. More information on NIBRS offenses can be found in PPB's Introduction to NIBRS Offenses guide. Additionally, bias incidents are tracked per Senate Bill 577. These are tracked starting in March 2020.
The bias crime dashboard and open data includes NIBRS bias crimes reported to the Portland Police Bureau. The dashboard does not include crimes that go unreported by the public and crimes that are reported to other agencies. Graffiti, which may include instances of hate speech, is reported to the Graffiti Abatement Program housed in the Office of Community and Civic Life (formerly the Office of Neighborhood Involvement). Incidents without a police report are not investigated by the Bias Crime Detail, therefore offender motivation and other details cannot be determined.
An element of hate speech can occur in crimes that are both motivated by bias and those that are not. Hate speech is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate based on the attributes of an individual or a group (including disability, gender, gender identity, race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, or sexual orientation). The presence of hate speech alone does not make an incident a bias crime.
Additionally, crimes that are both motivated by bias and those that are not may involve victims and offenders of different protected classes. These differences alone do not make an incident a bias crime.
NIBRS Bias Types
Incidents that are investigated and are confirmed to have a bias motivation are categorized with the appropriate bias category. Incidents can have more than one bias motivation.
- Disability: Anti-Mental Disability or Anti-Physical Disability
- Gender: Anti-Female or Anti-Male
- Gender Identity: Anti-Gender Non-Conforming or Anti-Transgender
- Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry: Anti-American Indian or Alaska Native; Anti-Arab; Anti-Asian; Anti-Black or African American; Anti-Hispanic or Latino; Anti-Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; Anti-White; Anti-Other Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry; or Anti-Multiple Races (Mixed Group)
- Religion: Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism; Anti-Buddhist; Anti-Catholic; Anti-Eastern Orthodox (Greek, Russian, etc.); Anti-Hindu; Anti-Islam (Muslim); Anti-Jehovah's Witness; Anti-Jewish; Anti-Mormon; Anti-Protestant; Anti-Sikh; Anti-Other Christian; Anti-Other Religion; or Anti-Multiple Religions (Mixed Group).
- Sexual Orientation: Anti-Bisexual; Anti-Gay (Male); Anti-Heterosexual; Anti-Lesbian (Female); or Anti-Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (Mixed Group).
Incidents where the investigation into a bias motivation is inconclusive are reported as unknown bias. Incidents where there are not enough facts to confirm bias motivation by the offender are reported as no bias.
The location type represents the functional location of where the incident took place which may differ from the geographic location. For example, when a school building is being used for church services and a bias crime occurs, the location type should be reported as a church not a school. NIBRS has fifty-eight potential location types, several of which are present in the current dataset, including:
- Bar/Nightclub: Establishments primarily for entertainment, dancing, and the consumption of beverages
- Convenience Store: Establishments primarily for convenience shopping
- Restaurant: Any commercial establishment that serves meals or refreshments; cafeterias
Place of Worship
- Church/Synagogue/Temple/Mosque: Building for public religious activities, meeting, and worship
- Air/Bus/Train Terminal: Airports, bus, boat, ferry, or train stations and terminals
- Parking/Drop Lot/Garage: Areas primarily used for parking motorized vehicles and/or trailers; usually, but not always, commercial in nature (does not include garages attached or detached from a residence)
- Street/Highway/Road/Alley/Sidewalk: Open public ways for the passage of vehicles, people, and animals.
- Residence/Home: Apartments; condominiums; townhomes; nursing homes; residential driveways; residential yards; extended/continuous care facilities
The victim type indicates if the victim of the bias crime was a person (individual) or institution (religious organization, business, etc.). Bias crimes that are person offenses require the victim to be an individual.
Victim and Offender Demographics
The demographics, including race, gender, and age, of victims who are individuals (people) are presented in the report. The offender demographics are also included when the offender is identified. Partial demographic information may be available for unidentified suspects if a description of the suspect was available. If incomplete or no suspect information was available, the offender demographics will be listed as unknown.
The Victim/Offender Relationship fields categorize the extent to which the victim knows the offender. Categories are determined after an investigation has been conducted and are subsequently reviewed by analysts for further accuracy. The bias crime report and dataset currently include victim/offender relationships that fall in two NIBRS categories: ‘Known to Victim – Not Family’ or ‘Not Known By Victim’. These categories are further sub-divided into more descriptive categories.
Known to Victim – Not Family:
- Victim Was Acquaintance: offender was casually known to victim
- Victim Was Neighbor: offender lived in the vicinity of the victim
- Victim Was Otherwise Known: offender is known to victim but does not fit into other categories
Not Known by Victim:
- Victim Was Stranger: victim did not know offender
- Relationship Unknown: relationship between the victim and offender has not been established (includes offenders who have not been identified)
The offender status field provides a count of offenders who are unknown (no suspect information available), unidentified suspects (some information but no positive identification), or identified. The status also indicates whether or not the offender has been arrested for the bias crime. In the State of Oregon, depending on the severity of the offenses committed with a bias motivation and other circumstances surrounding the crime, bias crime offenders are charged with either the Class C Felony of Bias Crime in the First Degree (ORS 166.165) or the Class A Misdemeanor of Bias Crime in the Second Degree (ORS 166.155). Senate Bill 577 relating to most recent law can be found here. All arrested offenders are identified.