The Justice Department announced it will hold a one-day summit next month focusing on hate crimes, the Washington Examiner is reporting.
The agency's task force on crime reduction and public safety will first hold a summit on violent crime during the third week of June.
It will be followed by another summit which will center on "identifying, prosecuting and preventing hate crimes," Eric Treene, the special counsel to the DOJ's civil rights division on religious discrimination, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"We must do better at reducing these deplorable hate crimes," he said. "We can fully address the problem of hate crimes only when we fully understand it."
Treene said better data on religious hate crimes is needed to fully address the problem, ABC News reported.
He said FBI numbers may not reflect the actual number of hate crimes because reporting is voluntary and not all law enforcement agencies submit figures to the bureau, according to the network news.
The nonpartisan Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University reported hate crimes in nine U.S. metropolitan areas jumped more than 20 percent from 2015 to 2016, the Examiner noted.
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