Reports of hate crimes in Italy increased fourfold in a year, according to data shared with Euronews.
They soared from 92 to 360 last year, figures from OSCAD — Italy's official observatory that tracks hate crimes — show.
The figure in 2018 is the highest since the observatory began recording in 2010.
But the raw data does not tell the whole story.
These figures can be relied upon to show very little about the actual increase in hate crimes in Italy due to the way they have been collected and owing to the fact they were gathered by a body that is not independent and which is answerable to the government.
OSCAD falls under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior — the right-wing League party's Matteo Salvini.
The observatory gathers crime reports from various sources including law enforcement agencies, private individuals, but also from websites, newspapers and has a widespread network of police stations from which it collects data, which could lead to information that is not comprehensive and based on biased sources, like media reporting.
However, the independent NGO Lunaria, which releases an annual report on hate crimes in Italy, also reported a rise from 564 instances in 2017 to 628 in 2018.