A mate crime is when somebody pretends to be your friend but they are only doing it to take advantage of you.
This could be somebody you have known for a long time like a support worker or family member or it could be somebody you have met recently like a new friend.
Most people are your friend
It is only a very small number of people that are nasty enough to take advantage of others.
Your friends won't always ask you to give them money or take your things off you because they will enjoy spending time with you because you are you.
What is a mate crime?
A mate crime could be something like:
- Lending somebody money all the time and never getting it back
- Being asked to buy things for my friends
- People always coming round to my house when I don't want them there.
How do I spot a mate crime?
Someone who is committing a mate crime might pretend to be nice to somebody to take advantage of them.
They might not bully them physically and the crimes may happen in private.
If you notice any of these changes then it might be a sign that somebody is being taken advantage of:
- Somebody isn't able to pay their bills on time or has less money than usual
- Their possessions are going missing
- They have new friends that are bullies
- Decline in their mental health
- Not spending as much time with old friends or family
- Weight loss
- Performing sexual acts against their will.
How can I report a mate crime?
If you think that you or somebody you know is victim of a mate crime then you should tell someone as soon as possible.
You can tell:
- A friend or family member that you trust
- Your Supported Living Officer or Support Worker
- The Police by calling 999 in an emergency or reporting it online via True Vision - The Police Hate Crime website .
You should also report mate crimes to us so that we can help. You can do this by completing our online form by clicking here or calling us on 0345 241 6041.