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Mate Crime

Easy Read version about Cuckooing:

Cuckooing – this is when someone who you think is your friend uses your home to sell or hide drugs. – Learning Disability Devon

Mate Crime

What is mate crime?

Mate crime is a type of disability hate crime when someone pretends to be your friend and then they commit a crime against you. They may even persuade or trick you into doing things. A ‘Mate’ can be anyone.

They could be:

  • A friend
  • A family member
  • Someone that helps you

Not everyone is pretending to be your friend and is going to commit a crime against you. Most of them, if not all of them, will be good people. It is important you know who to tell if you are not happy with the way a friend is treating you. Mate crime starts with people saying they want to be your friend but moves to bullying and other behaviour that you do not want. Some people who are victims of mate crime are scared of losing their friends if they say ‘No’ to what is happening. Mate crime can happen in private so that it is not seen by others.

How does mate crime happen?

Some of the things that this friend may try to do is:

  • Take your money and not give it back
  • Use all your credit on your mobile phone
  • Take you out but ask you for lots of money in return
  • Take your food
  • Have parties in your house
  • Hurt you
  • Tell you to have sex with them or with their friend
  • Tell you to do things that you are not happy about

What can I do to stop it and how do I get help?

Talk to someone that can help:

  • Your support worker
  • Your House Warden
  • Police – Call 101 or in an emergency call 999
  • Tell a Safeguarding Lead
  • Call Bristol City Council Care Direct on 0117 922 2700 or complete the Care Direct online form.



The information on this page is available as a leaflet that can be downloaded and printed out. 

Download the KBSP mate crime Leaflet

ARC (the Association for Real Change) have produced an easy read guidance booklet about hate crime and mate crime as part of their Safety Net Project.

Download the Safety Net 'Friend or Fake?' easy read guide