Hate crimes in Baltimore County are up. New numbers from state police show more incidents have happened in the last year than in 2016.
Police say they've honed down on the type of crime, but haven't pinpointed a general target.
"We see some vandalism that reflects hate, reflects a bias towards a certain group. So we are going to document that as a crime -- as a racially motivated crime," Cpl. Shawn Vinson, a spokesman with the police department, said.
He says statistics from Maryland State Police in partnership with the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center show a significant rise in hate or bias incidents in the county.
TO VIEW THE STATE OF MARYLAND 2017 HATE BIAS REPORT CLICK HERE.
From closed schools to college students attacked on campus, numbers show Baltimore County had 30 more hate/bias crimes happen in 2017 than in the year before -- leading the state in the number of these types of crimes.
But Vinson says it's in large part due to population size.
"We are third largest county in the state, so we expect that our numbers are going to be high. We don't see any specific area that these crimes then to be concentrated on. We kind of see it spread across the county," he said.
And it's spread across other counties as well -- Anne Arundel, Howard, and Montgomery Counties all seeing an increase in hate crimes.
Vinson calls Baltimore County's number as a reason to seek change and it's starting with monitoring any criminal activity that may lead to similar crimes.
"We are looking for any organized group activity that we could see happening in Baltimore County. As of right now, we don't see any organized effort targeting certain groups within Baltimore County," he said.
The information received and investigated by police is then forwarded onto state police.
Baltimore County Police even has a detective serving as a hate/bias coordinator monitoring possible crimes.
If you or anyone you know feels as though you've been attacked or targeted, you're asked to call police.