LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – The Criminal Justice Information Center of the Michigan State Police was praised by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Friday for expanding its category of hate crimes to include gender identity.

The information collected is compiled and reported to the FBI for its annual report on Crime in the United States and is used by several local, state and federal agencies, researchers, residents and the media to identify trends in crimes.

The FBI began publishing hate crimes statistics annually under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009, which included categories for crimes motivated by gender identity in 2013.

The State Police’s recent expansion is consistent with the FBI’s 2013 inclusion of gender identity in its annual hate crimes statistics reports. The FBI’s reports show gender identity bias-motivated crimes have more than doubled since 2014 and its most recent report shows hate crimes in the United States have risen 17 percent from the previous year overall.

“Accuracy in reporting that gets at the heart of a crime is critical to understanding not just what happened, but why it happened,” Nessel said.

MSP’s Michigan Incident Crime Reporting unit is responsible for capturing crime data on more than 100 specific types of crime from law enforcement agencies across the state. In April, it updated that report to include gender identity as a hate crime category.

If you are a victim of a hate crime or have credible information about a hate crime, please contact the Department of Attorney General at 313-456-0180.

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