Mate Crime

What is Mate Crime?

Mate crime is when someone says they are your friend, but ask you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable, take your things or call you names. Here are some more examples:

Do they give you a lift but then
charge you too much money?

Do they always come to my flat for a
party and eat all your food and drink?

Do they only come round only on my
payday to spend my money?

They are sending you
mean messages?

Tell a friend that you trust

If you think that you are a victim of mate crime tell someone you trust, tell lots of people or call the police.

Watch this video to to listen to peoples own experience of mate crime

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To download our mate crime poster please
click here

How friends and supporters can spot mate crimes
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.

Are you worried about someone’s wellbeing?

Visit the True Vision website

Contact the police

Tell your Adult or Children’s Safeguarding team

Whether it’s a hate crime or mate crime, always say that you are reporting a disability hate crime.

Autism Together’s mate crime survey

In January and February 2015 an online survey questionnaire exploring the issue of mate crime amongst people with autism in Merseyside was created by the Society and promoted via regional press and social media. 141 responses were obtained, all were anonymous. Respondents were either people with autism (responding by themselves or with support) or the parents/carers of those with autism.


Over 16s with autism felt bullied or taken advantage of by someone they had thought was a friend.


Of over 16s felt lonely and left out.


16-25 yr olds have difficulty distinguishing friends from those who bully or abuse.