DISABLED people have a new weapon against hate crime.
Two centres - one in Huddersfield and one in Dewsbury - are planned to open this year for people to report physical and verbal abuse.
A third centre is also on the cards.
The plans are thought to be the first in the UK to tackle abuse aimed solely at disabled people.
They are backed by Kirklees Disability Rights Network and the Community Safety Partnership.
The scheme will include different ways for people with disabilities to report crime more effectively.
Network chairman David Quarmby, who is blind, welcomed the plans. He said abuse of disabled people was a massive problem and often overlooked.
"I have been the victim of abuse several times," he added.
"This massive problem has not been addressed properly yet.
This will allow us to analyse just how big that problem is and what needs to be done.
"Because there is nothing quite like this set up yet, it will be a learning curve.
"It will, in time, also allow us to tackle the problem in a better way."
Mr Quarmby said the recording of hate crimes against disabled people had not been adequate.
He added: "There can be problems with people reporting some crimes to the police.
"It is often difficult for people who are blind because they cannot give a visual description.
"I feel some crimes that are reported by people with learning difficulties are also often not taken seriously," said Mr Quarmby.
"We are hoping to set up a partnership with Huddersfield University, which is where one of the centres could well be based.
"It would be great to get disabled students on board with the project."
The network held its annual meeting this week.
Mr Quarmby said it had been quite a difficult year, but he was proud of what had been achieved.
"In my view this has been quite a difficult year for the network, managing what seems like an increasing workload in a climate where support arrangements and finance have remained uncertain," he said.
"Under the circumstances, members have achieved a great deal. It is worth remembering the time and commitment they put in," he added.