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Hate crimes down in Kitsap

"Hate crimes reported in Kitsap County dropped nearly 60 percent last year, from 17 in 1998 to seven in 1999.Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer released 1999 hate crime statistics to the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights on April 11.Though there were only seven hate crimes reported in Kitsap County during 1999, the nature of the crimes is still serious enough to warrant attention, Boyer said. The percentages are small, but they're also important, he said.According to the report, three of the hate crimes were anti-homosexual, three were anti-black and one was anti-other religion.Between 1993 and 1999, the most racially-motivated hate crimes occurred in 1998, with a total of nine. All were anti-black. All three in 1999 were anti-black, too.In the ethnicity and national origin category, there were three reported anti-Hispanic hate crimes in 1998. None were reported in 1999. There was one anti-religion hate crime, but it was classified as other - non-Jewish, -Protestant, -Catholic, or -Muslim. In 1998, there were two anti-religion crimes, both against Jews.Three anti-sexual orientation crimes were reported this year, with all three being anti-gay and lesbian. In 1998, there were two anti-gay crimes and one anti gay and lesbian crime reported.There were no reports of hate crimes against people with disabilities or based on gender during 1999.Boyer said he wants to act now against hate crimes because he doesn't want to look back and feel he didn't do enough. Crime rates are going down, he said, but that's little solace if you're a victim.Five of the 1999 hate crime offenders were male and two were unknown. In 1998, 11 were unknown, one was female and six were male.Of those offenders, one was between the ages of 16 and 20, one was between 21 and 24 and one was older than 50. Four were of unknown age. Twelve were of unknown age in 1998, one was between 41 and 49, and five were between 16 and 20.Three of the hate crime offenders in 1999 were white; the race of four others was unknown. In 1998, nine were of unknown race, and eight were white.The sheriff's office also coalated the locations where each hate crime occurred. This year, one happened in a public or government building. One was on the street and another at a school. Four occurred in a residence. In 1998, one occurred each in a church, synogogue or temple and a parking lot. Two on the street and two at a school. Eight were in a residence and three were unknown."

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