Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, is launching a poster campaign aimed at protecting some of Cleveland’s most vulnerable people.
The campaign is focused on ‘Mate Crime’, the name given to incidents where vulnerable people are befriended by others who then take advantage of them, either financially, emotionally or in more extreme cases, sexually.
Some examples of ‘Mate Crime’ could be getting vulnerable people to buy clothes or food for others, using their bank cards or mobile phone without permission, or inviting people they don’t know into their homes. Victims of ‘Mate Crime’ are typically disabled, with those with learning disabilities often being targeted.
Posters urging vulnerable people to speak out are being displayed across Teesside and have been designed by police officers in conjunction with disabled people who attend the CHAT group at the Cumberland Resource Centre in Middlesbrough.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “It is important that the police protect all members of our communities, and especially the most vulnerable. People who take advantage of others in this way need to be dealt with firmly and robustly, but equally it is important that we get the message out to our communities that this sort of behaviour should not be tolerated and if it is happening to you, there is support available.
“We hope that this poster will raise awareness of the issue and encourage people to come forward and report incidents.”
PC Nicola Bell, whose role involves dealing with hate incidents and engaging with minority groups said: “We wanted to work with the disabled community themselves to ensure that what we produced covered the issues that were pertinent to them and was put together in a format that they would find useful.
“I would urge anyone who feels that they are being targeted in this way to tell someone they trust and to report it to the police so that we can stop it from happening and they can receive the support that they need.”
Incidents can be reported by dialing the 101 non-emergency number. In an emergency always use 999.
Click here to see a copy of the poster.
Posted on Thursday 7th November 2013