Teenage boy with word cloud behind him: manipulation, isolation, changes in behaviour

Mate crime can happen to anyone but children and adults with learning difficulties are especially vulnerable.

It is committed when someone ‘makes friends’ with a person but goes on to abuse or exploit that person instead.

The intention of the relationship, from the point of view of the perpetrator, is therefore likely to be criminal. The perpetrator can be perceived as a carer, friend or family member but will exploit the relationship.

Spot the signs

  • There may be a change in the victim’s behaviour or appearance
  • They might have unexplained injuries.
  • The victim may have had money or possessions taken from them.
  • The victim has become more isolated and gained a new friend.

Consequences

  • Some people may not even realise they are victims of mate crime and therefore may defend the relationship.
  • The victim may be frightened to tell someone about it and feel isolated.
  • It can lead to bullying but often starts with people being ‘friends’.

Report it

You can report mate crime online, call 101 or visit a police station.

You can also visit one of our reporting hub drop-in surgeries based in Medway.

You don't need an appointment (in most cases) and will be given advice and support by a trained team member:

Age UK
Mackenney Centre
Woodlands Road
Gillingham
ME7 2BX
Monday to Friday, 9am to 1.30pm

Ahmaddiya Nazir Mosque
Medway Road
Gillingham
ME7 1NJ
Monday and Friday, 8pm to 9pm

Aztec Day Service
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, strictly by appointment only.
For more information please call 07973 623516.

Chatham Memorial Synagogue
366 High Street
Rochester
ME1 1DJ
Fridays 6pm to 8pm and Saturdays 10am to 12pm

Kent Muslim Welfare Association
114 Canterbury Street
Gillingham
ME7 5UH
Friday, 2pm to 3pm and 7pm to 8pm

Nucleus Café
272 High Street
Chatham
ME4 4BP
Monday to Friday, 3pm to 5pm

Nucleus Café
13 Military Road
Chatham
ME4 4JG
Monday to Friday, 3pm to 5pm


If you'd prefer not to report it directly to us, you could:

You can also get help and support from:

Citizens Advice Medway

Choice Support (disability hate crime)

North Kent Independent Advocacy Scheme