ACPO lead on hate crime Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said:
"The police service has worked hard to improve its handling of disability hate crime; speaking with 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 help remove those barriers. The positive action is reflected in our recording practices. There has been 150 per cent increase in police recording of disability hate crime since it became a specified offence in 2008.
"ACPO and CPS agreed a common definition of disability hate crime in 2007. The joint review published today demonstrates that the criminal justice system has more work to do in ensuring that their practitioners understand and use this shared definition as well as communicating it to the public and, particularly, disabled people.
"All chief constables have signed up to an action plan that aims to provide training to ensure staff have the confidence to ask people about their disability, to identify hate crime and gather evidence, improve recording and information sharing systems, and support victims throughout the criminal justice process.
"ACPO is also working with the Director of Public Prosecutions to carry out a joint audit to identify how data collection of disability hate crime can be improved.
"Everyone has the right to live their life free from abuse so we would encourage anyone who feels that they have been victimised because of their disability to call 101 to report it to their local police or report online using True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk."