▶ Watch Video: Hate crimes in U.S. rise to highest levels in decades

New data from the New York City Police Department reveals that hate crimes have skyrocketed across the city. Overall, there were 503 reported hate crimes this year as of December 5, up from 252 in 2020 — a 100% increase, the NYPD said Tuesday.

Police say the spike has been driven by crimes against the Asian community, where there’s been a 361% increase — 129 incidents this year versus 28 last year.

“The data is really shocking. It reminds me just to be more careful and take care of myself because things could happen,” student Shihao Ent said, CBS New York reports

Anti-Semitic crimes are up to 183 in 2021, from 121 in 2020, and there were 85 crimes this year over sexual orientation, up from 29 last year.

“On the flip side of that, which shows the great work our hate crimes task force is doing, our arrests are up 106%. So on that 503 incidents, we’ve made 249 arrests on that,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

So what has triggered the rash of crimes? The NYPD says many are done by the hateful, and mentally ill.

“We have to shine a very bright light on this, and then making sure that everyone knows that when you do something like this, number one, you’ll be held accountable. But number two, it’s not acceptable, not only in this city, but anywhere,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Shea believes the spike in hate crimes is driven by lower incarceration rates, and the police can always use the public’s help if anyone has seen anything.

New Yorkers say they worry about the alarming new numbers.

“Walking down the street definitely has been a little more scary lately,” student Armondo Flores said.

“It’s sad, where people just need to get along and try  to do their best to live,” added Brandon Allen of Harlem.