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The San Diego Sheriff’s Department reported significantly fewer incidents of hate crime in 2008 than previous years, according to an annual report released Friday by the California Attorney General.

In 2007, the Sheriff’s Department has reported 23 hate crime incidents per year. In 2008, the department reported just eight — a 65 percent year-over-year drop. I put a call into the Sheriff’s Department to get the official take on possible reasons for the big drop. I’ll post as soon as I hear from them.

Countywide, law enforcement authorities have reported about 120 hate crime incidents per year since 2005. In 2008, they reported 124. San Diego and Oceanside, which have historically reported the most incidents, reported little change in 2008.

Chula Vista, however, reported more incidents compared to previous years. The city reported two incidents in 2006, two in 2007 and 13 in 2008.

Check out the Attorney General’s entire report — a 62-page document full of trend information — by clicking here.

— KEEGAN KYLE

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