Bias Crimes


The Fairfax County Police Department recognizes the potential harm that bias crimes and incidents can have in a community, and consequently encourages people to report them.  All bias crimes and incidents are investigated thoroughly.  Our goal is to form partnerships with the community to more effectively combat crimes motivated by hate.

What is a bias crime (also known as hate crime)?

Any unlawful action committed against a person or their property because of his or her:

  • Race
  • Religious conviction
  • Ethnic or national origin
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation

What is a bias incident?

An action motivated by bias, which does not meet the necessary elements for a criminal offense.  Examples of such behavior include:

  • Name calling
  • Racial slurs
  • Disseminating racist leaflets

How will I know if a crime is bias-motivated?

Although the apparent motive of the suspect should be evaluated, some indicators to look for include:

  • Derogatory remarks
  • Derogatory graffiti
  • Patterns of victimization
  • Locations of events (i.e.: cultural/religious centers)
  • Suspect’s involvement in hate related groups

What should I do if I’m a victim of a bias crime?

  • Call 911 for a crime in progress
  • Call 703-691-2131 to make a report of a crime that has previously occurred

You will be asked to provide basic information to the call taker and an officer will be dispatched to take a full report.

Why is it important to report bias crimes and incidents?

Reporting a bias crime or bias incident can assist law enforcement with:

  • Defusing potentially dangerous situations
  • Recognizing patterns of victimization
  • Identifying suspects of related bias crimes
  • Preventing bias-motivated criminal behavior

Any bias incident or crime should be reported to the police department in a timely manner, which will:

  • Enable the event to be investigated and properly documented
  • Ensure victims are provided with the necessary resources to aid them in a quick recovery 

Are there a lot of bias crimes in Fairfax County?

The number of bias crimes is relatively low in Fairfax County and they typically consist of minor destruction of property and graffiti-related crimes. 

Why does the Police Department care so much about bias crimes?

Proactive steps to document bias incidents may prevent more from occurring or from escalating into bias crimes.  Our goal is to alleviate fear in the community regarding crimes motivated by bias and to improve the overall quality of life for everyone in Fairfax County.

Yearly Bias Crime Reports


Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2013

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version