DISABLED people targeted by criminals and yobs can now report them at special centres.
In a pioneering move Kirklees Council is thought to be the first in the country to set up such a scheme.
Based in community rooms, housing offices and advice centres, reporting centres are seen as more convenient and less intimidating than police stations and are staffed by trained workers.
Disabled people will be able to report hate incidents, which include being attacked, threatened or insulted with the aggressor motivated by the victim's disabilities.
Clr Khizar Iqbal, chairman of Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership, said: "Hate crime is often under-reported. It is crucial that victims speak out rather than keep it hidden so action can be taken to support them and help create safer communities."
Twenty staff at two centres in Huddersfield and one in both Dewsbury and Batley have been trained to record disability hate incidents.
It follows the introduction of new legislation under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Judges can now increase sentencing if a crime is aggravated by hostility towards someone because they are mentally or physically disabled. Similar legislation already exists for racism and homophobia.
Last year, eight hate incident reporting centres specifically for the gay and lesbian community were set up.
Javier Santana-Acosta, strategic diversity officer for Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership, said: "Hate incidents and crime committed against people because of their disability is not acceptable.
"Our message to anyone affected is don't suffer in silence. Report it and get support. You will be taken seriously.
"The development of these disability-specific centres in Kirklees reflects the national agenda that also recognises racist and homophobic hate crime.
"Incidents are under-reported because victims fear repercussions."
The public can give information about an incident against themselves or someone else either on the record or anonymously.
They will be offered help from other agencies - including the police - if they want to take further action.
The disability-specific reporting centres are based in Gateway To Care, 2 Market Street, Huddersfield, 01484 223000; The University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, 01484 422288; The Walsh Building, Town Hall Way, Dewsbury, 01924 325070; and Batley Resource Centre, 90 Commercial Street, Batley, 01924 326331.
To report racist and homophobic incidents telephone the Stop Hate Line for Yorkshire and the Humber on 0800 1381625.
Alternatively go to or www. saferkirklees.co.uk