Maryland seeing one of the highest increases in hate crimes in the country: study

Research conducted by the Gruber Law Offices shows that Maryland ranks fourth among states with the biggest rise in hate crimes.

Maryland saw a 44% increase in hate crimes from 2021 to 2022, according to an online portal managed by the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office. The Maryland State Police report backed these trends, showing that 465 hate crimes and hate bias incidents were reported in 2022, compared to 388 reports the previous year.

Attorney General Anthony Brown announced Maryland’s new website which will serve as a reporting method for victims and witnesses to combat hate and reduce the rising number of unreported hate crimes.

"For too long, hate crimes have been unreported and underestimated, but victims don’t have to suffer in silence," Brown said in a press release. "This new portal is a safe place to speak up. It will help us all understand how widespread these incidents are so we can better address them."

The portal allows victims and witnesses to file a report anonymously, but reporting an incident through the online portal does not take the place of calling 911. The website contains information and resources, including government organizations that can support victims.

According to an editorial published by the National Institute of Justice, merely 1 in 31 hate crimes are reported. Research concludes that underreporting may be a result of law enforcement agencies’ failure to recognize hate crimes.

Maryland state officials say that the data and trends collected by the new online reporting system will be used to develop projects aimed directly at reducing hate crimes. Programs may include training sessions with police or regional forums held by the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.