Safety Net

SN-278The Safety Net project addresses learning disability hate crime and particularly mate crime. Originally funded by the Department of Health the project has been extended with a grant from the Home Office Crime Innovation Fund (CIF), Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon County Council and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Project Officer Rod Landman is carrying on his work to raise awareness of hate crime and mate crime. Rod and his co-workers will be speaking at a range of conferences and public awareness events. Rod has recently appeared on ITV (Central) and Radio 4’s You and Yours programme to talk about mate crime.

CIF funding is supporting people with learning disabilities to anti-hate crime and bullying training for Year 9 children in mainstream schools across North Devon.

Additional funding from Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon County Council and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is supporting a Train the Trainer project. This will equip 12 people with learning disabilities from across Devon and Cornwall to achieve the City and Guilds 7300 (Introduction to Training Skills) award. Once learners have achieved the award they will deliver training about hate crime, mate crime and safety issues for a range of hate crime projects across the far South West. It is hoped that the qualified trainers will be offered training work with Devon and Cornwall Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the county council and others.

The aims of the Safety Net Train the Trainer project:


  • 12 people with learning disabilities to gain the City and Guilds 7300 (Introduction to Training Skills) Award.
  • Each be supported by their own co-learner, who may also gain the award.
  • Successful learners will work on hate and mate crime projects across Devon and Cornwall, particularly the Safety Net Schools’ Project (more information below)
  • There will be a Reference Group whose job it is to help them find more training work. The aim of the Reference Group is to change the views of society towards learning disability and hate crime. To this end the Reference Group will:
    1. Support successful delivery of the C&G 7300 programme.
    2. Monitor and evaluate the outcomes of the C&G 7300 programme.
    3. Identify further opportunity for skills development for learners.
    4. Identify employment opportunities for qualified trainers.
    5. Wherever possible offer employment opportunities to qualified trainers.
    6. Ensure the sustainability of the project beyond the training course.

Safety Net Schools’ Project

  • Safety Net has had money from the Home Office to run a project in schools.
  • The project is about bullying, hate crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • We will work with Year 9 children to stop them picking on people with learning disabilities.
  • We will work with schools in North Devon.
  • We will work in different ways in different schools and see what works best.

The Future

ARC is actively seeking funding to work on the issue of cyber mate crime. Experience from the Safety Net project suggests that many people with learning disabilities are being befriended on line by people who use this faked relationship to financially or sexually abuse and exploit the person with a learning disability. If you are aware of any examples or can suggest sources of project funding please get in touch.

The project is funded by the Home Office (CIF)


Useful information: