Figures released this week show an increase in the number of convictions for disability hate crime, but successful convictions throw light on only a tiny part of a much bigger problem. First, the good news - it seems we're getting a bit better at identifying and pursuing hate crime. The Crown Prosecution Service has revealed an increase in the number of disability hate crime convictions for the year 2010/11. At 579, the figure represents a 311% increase from the 141 made in 2007/8. In addition, 79.8% of disability hate crime cases resulted in a conviction. This is the first rise in the proportion of convictions to cases in two years. But all this is still just the tip of the iceberg. Only 690 cases were referred by the police to the CPS for a charging decision in 2010/11, yet about 9 in 10 people with a learning disability suffer verbal harassment or violence due to their disability, according to Mencap. Given the number of people with learning disabilities in the UK - about 1 million - the true scale of disability hate crime must far exceed the official figures. Indeed, with public attitudes towards people with disabilities deteriorating, hate crime may continue to rise. Sadly, many disability hate crimes still go unreported to the police. The reasons for this happening are well known. For instance, people are afraid that they will not be believed, that they will suffer retaliation, that they won't  be supported, or that their impairment will be used against them. Some people with learning disabilities even just accept it as 'part of everyday life' and/or don't recognise it as hate crime. This needs to be challenged. The police are taking disability hate crime increasingly seriously - something they have been criticised for not doing in the past. Indeed, the Metropolitan Police Service announced this week that it has signed up to Mencap's 'Stand by me' anti-disability hate crime campaign. The Met was also careful to point out that signing up to 'Stand by me' is only one part of its mission to improve the way it tackles disability hate crime. The high proportion of cases that result in a conviction - once they've made it to court - shows that, if people with a learning disability speak out, they will be listened to and, crucially - they will also get the justice they deserve. Now, the emphasis needs to be on ensuring that people with learning disabilities know what hate crime is - that it is not part of everyday life; that they know how to report it and to whom; and that it is the responsibility of providers, support services and professionals to work with them on this issue. That way, the number of successful convictions will continue to increase, and more people with learning disabilities will be free from the scourge of hate crime.