ACPO lead on disability Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
"ACPO has contributed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's (EHRC) consultation into disability related harassment and the publication of this report provides an update on the progress of various public authorities in eliminating this type of harassment.
"We recognise the picture this report paints. The police service has worked hard to improve its handling of disability hate crime: speaking to disabled people to understand the types of harassment they face and the barriers that prevent them reporting it and then working with the community and other agencies to remove those barriers. Disability hate crimes recorded by police forces in England and Wales for 2011/12 increased by 24% on the previous year, which is a sign that disabled people are gaining confidence in the police's ability to provide them with the service they deserve.
"We also recognise that we have further to go. As the report demonstrates there is still disparity between forces and more needs to be done to encourage disabled people to report harassment and ensure that police forces record and respond to those reports effectively.
"The police service is committed to improving our response and to bringing offenders to justice; all Chief Constables have signed up to an action plan to achieve this."