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August 31, 2010

Bias crimes are on the rise in New Jersey, with the state police citing 876 incidents in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That represents an 8 percent increase over 2007 and is the highest number of occurrences recorded in the past five years. Criminal mischief (358) and harassment (340) made up the bulk of the incidents but there also were 37 terroristic threats, 19 cases of aggravated assault, one robbery and one episode of arson. Victims were primarily black (351), Jewish (256), homosexual (94) and Hispanic (35). The incidents took place in schools (238), residences (193) and business establishments (128) and led to a total of 169 arrests, an increase of 27 percent over 2007. The county with the highest number of offenses was Monmouth (215) followed by Middlesex (110).

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