Making our communities safer

Collaborating to tackle ‘mate crime’


South Tyneside Council

South Tyneside Council recognised a need to raise community awareness and improve multi-agency responses to the growing issue of ‘mate crime’ – crimes where vulnerable people are befriended and exploited by criminals. The council’s Community Safety Team collaborated with partners in an innovative, highly effective initiative. The three-pronged approach involved: partnering with local university media students to develop engaging interactive educational videos and resources to equip adults with learning difficulties with tools that help them navigate social media safely; engaging with football clubs and famous players to launch and share the impactful and far-reaching '#WhoRYa?' awareness-raising social media campaign; and facilitating a multi-agency regional conference to educate and equip a range of professionals to better collaborate to tackle 'mate crime'.

The initiative resulted in a series of professional-quality, clear, engaging, user-tested, empowering resources which highlight dangers and equip vulnerable users with practical advice; a far-reaching social media campaign promoted by celebrity champions, promoted through regional and national press; and an informed regional network of cross-agency professionals, better able to collaborate effectively to identify, protect and support victims.

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