Hate crimes and mate crimes against people with autism are not OK.  You’ll find information here about what to do if this happens to you and how families and supporters can help.

What is hate crime and mate crime?

Disability hate crime is the general term used to describe any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon a person’s disability.

  • If you think people are picking on you because of your disability then it is a hate crime.
  • Mate crime happens when someone pretends to be your friend and then uses you instead of being a good friend. A ‘mate’ may be a friend, family member, supporter, paid staff or another person with a disability
  • Hate crime is when you are victimised by strangers just because you have a disability. Mate Crime is done by someone you know.

Is this person my friend?

A friend is a companion you trust and have fun with.  But if your friend makes you feel anxious or scared, takes your money or possessions or makes you do things you don’t want to, that’s not right. We call that a mate crime.

Remember that most of your friends are good friends but that if you are worried about a friendship you have a right to be believed and to be taken seriously when you report incidents.

How friends and supporters can spot mate crimes

Mate crime is often hidden but these signs may indicate something is wrong:

  • Someone with autism suddenly appears to have a new friend or a much larger friendship group and a more active social life.  These new people seem to have an undue influence. They may be visiting the vulnerable person at home for social gatherings.
  • The person with autism comments that his friends will be disappointed if a certain activity doesn’t take place.  They may express worry that they’ll lose their friends. They may appear uneasy about the friendship.
  • The vulnerable person may be spending his own money to pay for concert tickets for others or taxi fares or rounds of drinks.  They may be buying gifts for other people or giving away precious possessions. They may suddenly change their will.
  • The person may unexpectedly change their routine, behaviour or appearance. They may have unexplained injuries, look scruffy or dirty or show signs of mental ill health.

How to report a hate crime or mate crime

Whether it’s a hate crime or mate crime, always say that you are reporting a DISABILITY HATE CRIME.   Here are some ways to report an incident:

Autism Together’s hate crime and mate crime reporting centre can be found at:

Wirral Centre for Autism
Oak House, 6 Tebay Road, Bromborough, Wirral CH62 3PA
Tel: 0151 334 7510