8:54 am
Mon December 23, 2013

State audit underway to measure reporting of hate crimes

NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Credit WB FO News file photo

With concerns that hate crimes could be on the rise in New York, the State Comptroller's office is now conducting an audit on the reporting of the crime. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says comptroller Thomas DiNapoli wants to make sure hate crimes are being reported.

"Are we supervising the requirements that hate crimes be reported by our law enforcement officials across the state,?" said DiNapoli.

DiNapoli noted that the decision to conduct the audit was inspired -- in part -- by a request from state Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan.  The openly gay lawmaker claims there is an increase of hate crimes in his district.  

DiNapoli is responding to those concerns by launching an audit of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. He wants to find out if oversight and management of hate crimes reporting.

"So it really begs the question -- of how adequately are we cataloging these occurrences, because unless you have a clear profile of what's happening in the communities you're going to be less capable of doing the kind of interventions -- community outreach -- really enforcement of the law to make sure we stem that tide," said DiNapoli.

According to DiNapoli's office -- data collected by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services indicated there have been thousands of hate crimes in the state over the past 13-years -- victims who were targeted because of their real or perceived race or because of their gender, religion or sexual orientation.

The audit will focus not only on reporting, but how adequate law enforcement is trained to deal with hate crimes when they are reported.  The audit is expected to several months.