Bangor Daily News, May 2022
A new report recommended Maine law enforcement improve training in investigating and tracking hate crimes after researchers found a sharp decline in reported incidents between 2008 and 2017 and encountered a disjointed system for gathering data. Reports of hate and bias incidents in Maine fell 49 percent between 2008 and 2017, researchers with the Maine Statistical Analysis Center at the University of Southern Maine found in a study published Sunday. From 2008 to 2012, Maine averaged 56 incidents every year, an average that fell to 33 during the next five years, a 42 percent drop, according to the report.
Reports also fell nationally during that period, but at a much lower rate. The findings do not suggest that hate crimes have simply diminished, but rather that Maine authorities may not have properly identified or reported many such incidents during that period, researchers say.