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Tenn. Reports Double-Digit Increases in Hate Crimes Two Years Running

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  There’s been a significant rise in the number of hate crimes again this year according to a report out this week from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The TBI says hate crimes of all types were up more than 17 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were 291 incidents reported statewide last year involving 348 victims. Arrests were made in only 83 of those cases.

Hate crimes can involve racial, ethnic, religious, sexual or disability bias.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine says the agency was especially troubled by the number of young people involved in hate crimes.

“The number of juveniles who were not only victims but apparently offenders in some of these… I think that that’s something that communities should take a look at. I think that there are a number of issues that should spark some honest conversation.”

The number of hate crimes reported in Tennessee has risen by double digits in each of the last two years.

However, the TBI says the numbers may be skewed to some degree by the way hate crimes are currently reported by local law enforcement.