News Hate crimes task force hopes to curb increase in attacks New York City Public Advocate Letitia James at a press conference on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert By ALISON FOX firstname.lastname@example.org @AlisonFox Updated September 23, 2014 8:21 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email An emergency task force will be charged with looking at the rise in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims, Public Advocate Letitia James said Tuesday. Citywide, there were 224 attacks investigated as potential hate crimes as of Sept. 14, a 17% increase from last year. Religious community leaders on the task force will aim to make policy recommendations to help curb the increase, James said. "Our city belongs to all New Yorkers regardless of which religion they adhere to or whether they affiliate with any religion at all," James said in a statement. "We stand united in supporting every community in New York and creating a climate that fosters acceptance." Police have said the increase is due, in part, to the tensions in the Middle East. By ALISON FOX email@example.com @AlisonFox Alison covers law enforcement and breaking news. She previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, and has a master’s degree from Northwestern University and bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.