The number of hate crimes in major U.S. cities rose for the third consecutive year last year, driven by attacks on Jews, Muslims, blacks and LGBT people, preliminary police data exclusively provided to VOA show.

At least 1,056 hate crimes were committed in nine of nation’s largest cities in 2017, an increase of 18 percent from 2016 levels, according to police data compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino.

Several major metropolitan areas, such as Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle and Phoenix, reported double-digit increases in hate-based crimes, extending a trend that started in 2015 and accelerated during the contentious presidential election campaign in 2016.

Among the nation’s five largest cities, the overall increase in hate crimes was smaller; however, the number of reported incidents rose to 719 from 664, an uptick of 8 percent.