Hate Crimes on the Rise in Florida

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Hate crimes are on the rise in Florida.

The state attorney general's report is showing a more than 20 percent increase in 2004; 334 cases in all.

There was a moderate increase in hate crimes related to race, and a decrease of crimes related to sexual orientation.

A closer look at the report finds one incident in our viewing area coming from the Perry Police Department: an offense of intimidation because of race.

Jon Peck, attorney general spokesman, says, "Law enforcement is getting much more attuned to identifying crimes that are motivated by hate, and therefore they report more crimes motivated by hate so report numbers go up."

Pinellas County reported the highest number of hate crimes with 63 cases. There have been 4,190 hate crimes reported in Florida since the hate crime report began in 1990.