Desecration of Jewish cemetry
A Jewish gravestone desecrated in Eastham, London, in 2005 Getty

A review of police handling of hate crime has been launched after a spike in incidents following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) will investigate how forces in England and Wales handle the incidents, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

There have been more than 6,000 hate crimes reported since the June EU Referendum, police said. The figure of 3,001 offences from the first two weeks of July were 20% higher than 2015, while there was a 42% increase on last year in the final two weeks of June.

Rudd said that forces would carry out a "scoping study" into police understanding of and response to hate crimes. It will look at hate crimes of all kinds, including those against the disabled. Hate crimes are offences in which people are targeted for their race, sexuality religion, or members of other social groups.

Rudd said the review will " help to give confidence, to give reassurance, and also to make sure communities who feel they're experiencing too much hate crime are able to get that confidence back from the police that it's being addressed."

The government has also announced details of its plan to tackle hate crime in England and Wales.

Under the plans a full assessment will be made of the scale of hate crime bullying in schools, with the evidence used to "inform further action" against the bullying. Measures will also be taken to combat hate crime online, on public transport, and around the "night time economy."

A £2.4m fund ($3.1m, €2.8m) will be set up to fund security, at mosques, synagogues, churches, and other places of worship. Prosecutors will also be urged to press for tougher sentences against those who commit the crimes.