‘A counterfeit friendship’: mate crime and people with learning disabilities



Roderick Andrew Landman

The Journal of Adult Protection







This article offers an introduction to the recently recognised phenomenon of ‘mate crime’ as it affects people with learning disabilities. It looks at how concerns arose, considers what may make people with learning disabilities particularly susceptible, and proposes a provisional definition of ‘mate crime’.


The article draws on the author’s own project work, and reviews the extant research literature on ‘disablist’ hate crime to examine the extent to which so-called ‘mate crime’ has been both explicitly and implicitly identified and analysed in the literature.


The literature review indicates that ‘mate crime’ has not been explicitly identified in any scholarly research to date, either under that or any other name. Crimes that we might label as ‘mate crimes’ have, however, appeared in more general literature concerning the experiences of people with disabilities in general, and as victims of crime.


Whilst the issue of ‘mate crime’ is gaining increasing professional and media attention it lacks any academic base and a definition. This article attempts to establish an agreed definition and conceptualisation of ‘mate crime’.









Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee