Incidents of Vandalism of Gay Businesses

November 8 2004, 6:00 AM

There may be a rise in the number of vandalism incidents at area businesses patronized by members of the gay community. Ten such incidents have been reported so far this year. The Colorado Anti-Violence Program believes such incidents are on the rise. But no one can say for sure because police record offenses according to the category of crime, but not the victim. Also, many such incidents are not reported, due to fears of the gay community that police will be insensitive to their plight. In this advanced age of technology, perhaps it is time for police to add a category to their database identifying a particular class of victim, where appropropriate. Not as a prelude to enacting criminal hate crimes laws, but as a means of sensitizing police to the fact that these crimes occur and to instill a measure of confidence among victims that if they report the crime, it will be fully investigated and duly recorded.