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Officials with the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office announced Thursday a new strategy to combat hate crimes — this amid an uptick in hate crimes being reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Under the new strategy, the FBI will train more special agents to conduct hate crime and civil rights investigations, as well as conduct outreach to community groups, religious organizations and minority associations to strengthen trust and encourage the public to report hate crimes.

To further increase awareness and encourage reporting, the FBI has launched a public awareness campaign on social media and through advertisements on Muni trains.

The strategy also seeks to work with local and state law enforcement partners throughout Northern California, offering assistance and training on federal hate crime laws. In addition, law enforcement partners are urged to refer possible federal hate crime cases to the FBI, which in some instances can bolster investigations since the federal process can run parallel to and in coordination with local law enforcement investigations.

By working with local law enforcement, the FBI can offer forensic expertise and experience in identifying and proving hate-based motivations, even when federal charges are not brought.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair said in a statement:

“We understand that some individuals may be afraid to come forward to law enforcement. … I want to assure the community that the FBI works to protect all victims of crimes, regardless of their country of national origin or immigration status. Acts of hate and racism have no place here and will not be tolerated.”

FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sid Patel said:

“FBI San Francisco is surging our resources to combat hate crimes, and we will use all authority granted to us by federal law to investigate civil rights violations.”

Patel added:

“I urge members of our community to report any hate incidents to local or federal law enforcement so we can bring offenders to justice.”

Residents who believe they’ve been targeted or are victims of a hate crime are encouraged to contact the FBI San Francisco Division at (415) 553-7400 or at https://tips.fbi.gov.

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