A mate crime is when somebody befriends someone in order to take advantage of them.
Typically someone who is committing a mate crime will target a person with a learning difficulty such as Asperger's syndrome or autism.
They may be somebody that the person has known for a long time like a support worker or family member or they may be somebody they met recently like a new friend.
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 friends
- People always visiting someones home for a party or to eat all their food
- Making a vulnerable person commit sexual acts against their will.
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 or learn of 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 Housing 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 Progress Housing Group so that we can help.
You can do this by completing our online form by clicking here or calling us on 03333 204555.