San Luis Obispo County residents last year reported more hate crimes than the region has seen in nearly five years.
At least nine hate crimes were committed in 2017 against 14 victims throughout the county, according to a California Department of Justice report released on Monday.
Three of the nine incidents reported were also referred to county prosecutors.
Five or fewer hate crimes have been reported in the region every year since 2013, when nine incidents were recorded, according to the data.
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Over the last decade, local reports of hate crimes have actually spiked above the recent increase, reaching a recent high of 14 in 2007.
Hate crimes are committed by individuals who target victims due to their race or ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, mental or physical disability or religion.
Incidents are reported by local law enforcement agencies, and the state compiles the data.
Statewide, California saw a 17 percent uptick in hate crimes from 2016 to 2017, according to the report. San Luis Obispo County residents reported three times as many hate crimes in 2017 than in 2016, when three incidents were recorded.
Five of the nine crimes reported occurred in San Luis Obispo, three occurred in unincorporated areas of the county and one occurred at the Oceano Dunes.
The incidents ranged from hate speech to aggravated assault to arson. Five of the crimes targeted the victims based on their race, two of the crimes were anti-Semitic, and two of the crimes targeted the victims based on their sexual orientation.
Witnessed hate in SLO County? Let us know
If you've been the victim of a hate crime or witnessed one in San Luis Obispo County, please let us know by filling out the form below.
The Tribune is partnering with the investigative journalism site ProPublica and other news organizations to document hate crimes, and we'd like to hear about your experiences.