You may have heard of the terms mate crime and hate crime. Maybe you've experienced it but didn't know it was a form of bullying that can be reported to the police. Here you'll find out what hate crime and mate crime means and what you can do about it.

What is mate crime?

Mate crime is when someone says they are your friend, but they do things that take advantage of you, like ask you for money a lot. A real friend does not need to be bought, and someone who takes your money, asks you to pay for lots of things, or makes you feel uncomfortable is not a true friend.

If someone who says they are your friend hurts you, steals from you or makes you do something you don’t want to do, you should tell to someone you trust right away.

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is when someone does something to hurt someone because of who they are - such as because of their race, sexuality or disability. If someone is mean to you because of your learning disability, tell someone you trust and report it to the police. See below for advice on how to report a crime to the police. 

I'm worried about someone's wellbeing

If you have concerns for someone's wellbeing or safety call Mencap's helpline on 0808 808 1111.

Learn about safeguarding

Statistics about hate crime

Check out the following useful stats relating to hate crime:

  • Between 2011 and 2013, there were 124,000 disability hate crimes (Crime Survey for England and Wales)
  • Only 3% of these were recorded by the police, and only 1% resulted in prosecutions
  • 56% of disabled people say that they have experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their condition or impairment (ComRes, 2011)

Reporting a crime

If you have experienced a hate crime or mate crime, you probably feel very upset, confused and scared.

Tell someone that you feel comfortable talking to and they will support you to report it to the police. It might sound scary reporting it to the police, but by doing this, you might help stop these incidents from happening to someone else. Reporting to the police also helps them to know the scale of hate and mate crime in your area, and deal with it better.

How to report a crime

  • Phone your local police.
  • Report it online
  • Download an easyread reporting form
  • Contact Citizens Advice Bureau or Stop Hate UK, who can report it for you.
  • Call NSPCC or Childline who can help you report it to the police.
  • Tell your parent, carer or support worker - they will support you to report it.

Six tips for talking to the police

  1. Ask someone you know and trust to be with you when you speak to the police - like a parent, partner, friend, carer or support worker.
  2. Tell the police officer that you have a learning disability and ask them to use simple language that you can understand.
  3. Ask if there is any easy read information available to you.
  4. If they use a word you don’t understand, ask them to explain the word.
  5. Make sure that your report is taken seriously and treated as a hate crime.
  6. If the police don’t take it seriously, ask an advocate or mediator to step in to ensure it’s reported as a hate crime.

Four things you should know about hate crime

Campaigns manager Jo Davies sheds some light on the problem of hate crime – some of the facts may surprise you.

Read Jo's blog

Kelly and Sue's story

Kelly is harassed daily. Police tell her to "just ignore it". Would you?

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