Yes, it is a real problem:
The Association for Real Change (ARC) has been researching mate crime for the past year in Calderdale, west Yorkshire, and in north Devon, after a groundswell of concern among its members who are service providers for people with learning disabilities. Examples it has been told about range from perpetrators routinely going to a victim\’s house and clearing their cupboards of food and alcohol before leaving them to clear up the mess, to instances of people being persuaded to part with their benefits.
Women can be sexually exploited by men who claim to be their boyfriend, says David Grundy, who runs the Calderdale project. \”They might be told, \’We\’re a couple and we haven\’t got any money – if you sleep with my mate he\’ll pay us.\’\” In other cases, someone with learning disabilities may be asked to look after a package that contains drugs and end up being beaten up as a result, or go shoplifting with their new-found friends carrying a weapon, only to get caught by police.
The victim may not realise that what is happening is wrong. \”There can be a feeling of, \’He\’s my friend, that\’s what friends do,\’\” says Grundy. \”People with learning disabilities have fewer friends. For some, any friends is better than no friends, even if they\’re spending all your money.
But I\’m not sure why anyone is surprised. Leave aside the \”learning disabled\” tag for a moment and use the real word: dim.
So we\’re going to take all the dim people, give them money and set them up in the wider community. Peeps then start taking advantage of said dim people and their money.
Sure, they shouldn\’t, sure, they range from naughty to evil for doing so, but how can anyone at all be surprised that it happens?
Fully independent life out there in the community just isn\’t possible: because these people are dim. That\’s exactly why we, rightly as the larger society, are taking care of them. And taking care of them doesn\’t mean setting them up as a mark for any chavscum that desire something extra on the side.