Across the country, hate crime numbers have risen in the last year but here in Maine the percentage rose a concerning amount. 

Perhaps the spike can be blamed on one of the most contentious Presidential campaigns in American history. Maybe it's increased drug use statewide, or is it something we can't put our finger on quite yet? Either way, one thing is crystal clear, hate crimes in Maine have risen drastically in the last year.

According to WGME, hate crimes in Maine rose 36% from 2014 to 2015. The 2016 numbers have not been completely compiled. That large number pales in comparison to the national average of 7%, still an increase from 2014. In fact, there's been a troubling trend brewing in Maine for the past several years, with a rise in hate crimes each year for the past 3 years.

According to the FBI, a hate crime can come in a variety of different forms. Most notably are attacks on someone's race or religion but also includes criminal offenses against someone's sexual orientation, disability or gender as well.

The volatility of 2016 may lead to yet another increase statewide and nationwide for hate crimes, leaving community leaders and elected officials to figure out how to curb the problem.