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.
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’.
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: