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Safety Net was a project launched in 2009 to prevent the exploitation of people with learning disabilities by those claiming to be their friends, and aimed to deal with issues around mate crime. Read more on the background of the Safety Net project.

The Safety Net website has been developed to:

  • Keep you up to date with all the latest developments in the Safety Net Train the Trainer project
  • Look at how people with learning disabilities can be affected by hate and mate crime
  • Help you to recognise and report incidents of mate crime
  • Provide you with valuable resources and tools on hate and mate crime

We developed a number of resources to help people with a learning disability, and those who support them, recognise and report mate crime. View the Safety Net Resources.

What is Mate Crime?

Many people with learning disabilities have so called ‘friends’ who go on to abuse them. This has led to people losing their independence, financial, physical and sexual abuse…even murder.

The Safety Net Project helped to raise awareness of these topics for people with a learning disability, carers, professionals and the wider community. See Examples of Mate Crime and how to spot when it might be happening.

Are people really friends or fakes?

Some people pretend to be friends with people who have a learning disability but go on to exploit them. The project found out, through talking to pilot groups in North Devon and Calderdale, that people with a learning disability sometimes struggle to recognise when they are being exploited. There have been cases where the person is convinced that the exploiter is their friend. Read about the findings of the Safety Net Project.

What are we doing now?

The original Safety Net project finished in April 2012, but additional funding has been secured from the Home Office (CIF), Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon County Council and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to help continue to raise awareness of hate and mate crime.

Rod Landman, Project Officer, is carrying on his work in Devon and Cornwall through the Safety Net Train the Trainer project.

12 people with learning disabilities are studying to become qualified trainers. Once they have achieved this award they will then go on to deliver training on hate crime, mate crime and safety issues. It is hoped that they will be offered work delivering training with the Devon and Cornwall Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the County Council. Find out about the Safety Net Train the Trainer project. For all the latest developments on Safety Net see our News page.

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