Mate crime – how to spot it

Below are some examples of a learning disability mate crime

Mate crime is when someone pretends to be your friend because they want to use or take advantage of you.
Mate crime is when someone borrows your mobile phone and uses up all your credit.
Mate crime is when your ‘mate’ comes round on the day you get your benefit money so you can go to the pub and buy him or her lots of drinks.
Mate crime is when your family members take money off you without asking you.
Mate crime is when your ‘friend’ takes you out in the car and then charges you £20 for taking you.
Mate crime is when your neighbours call you names each time they see you but always say they are ‘only joking’.
Mate crime is when friends send abusive (rude or threatening) emails or texts to you. This includes messages on Twitter and Facebook.
Mate crime is when your ‘mate’ comes to your place, stays a couple nights, eats all your food and drink and leaves you with nothing for the rest of the week.

What to do if you are a victim of mate crime

Tell someone you trust for example: your support worker, advocate or centre manager who will help you to call the police.
Call the police on 999 saying you think you have been a victim of learning disability mate crime.
Call your local safeguarding adults team.


Cornwall Adult Safeguarding: 0300 1234 131

Plymouth Adult Safeguarding: 01752 668000

Devon Adult Safeguarding: 0345 1551 007

Somerset Adult Safeguarding: 0300 123 2224

Talk to Stop Hate UK on free phone 0800 138 1625, they are open 24 hours a day.


With thanks to Dawn from the Crownhill Comms Room and Plymouth People First who worked with Devon and Cornwall Police to produce this information.