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Factors Increasing the Rate of Hate Crimes

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Previous studies into the cause of hate crime offending have for the most part been cross-sectional in nature, emphasizing ecological factors associated with higher rates of offending. Lyons’ (2007) study into Chicago neighbourhoods along with Green et al.’s (1998) investigation into communities in New York argued persuasively that demographic change in an area, usually an influx of immigrants or an ethnic minority, is a crucial explanatory factor when investigating why certain regions experience more hate crimes than others. These studies are remarkably consistent in their findings; suggesting that many hate crimes result from group concerns, usually amongst a minority, about minority group encroachment. Under this interpretation, hate crimes are seen as crimes over territory or societal position.

Cross-sectional work such as the work of Lyons (2007) or Green et al. (1998) have been useful in assessing larger instances of hate crime offending, and for revealing correlations that suggest hate crimes are often reactionary and even retaliatory in nature (For example, Levin & McDevitt, 1993). Unfortunately, prior work utilizing a cross-sectional approach has neglected to examine the timing of hate crimes relative to other temporally proximate events that might serve as triggers, such as a terror attack for example. This presents a problem in the literature for a number of reasons. Firstly, time-series research on hate crimes, such as violence against ethnic minorities rich in terms of results. For example studies into the persecution of Jews in pre–World War II Germany, suggests that violence targeting minority groups is often a reaction to changes in the political environment (King & Brustein, 2006; Jacobs & Wood, 1999). Abel (2005...

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... as a framework leads us to the same conclusions as the retributive model. Perpetrators of hate crimes believe the expected utility of their acts will outweigh the costs. The utility derived is often from ‘protecting their country’ as in the above case of Frank Roque or in ‘defending one’s territory’ (Hanes and Machin 2012). Thus, while the model may be slightly different from the retributive model, it is spurred on by the same reasoning.

The aftermath of the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks appears to be an indication that hates crimes stem from vengeance and vicarious retribution. However it must be noted that such attacks were unprecedented in magnitude, scope, and ramifications. Attacks on symbols of core national values (such as the Twin Towers in New York or the Underground in London) can deeply disturb a local population and indeed prompt them to violence (Start 2012).
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