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Mate Crime on the Agenda

The issue of mate crime and the steps being taken to tackle it will be outlined at the next meeting of Jarrow and Boldon Community Area Forum.

Members will be told that a conference organised by the Council and its partners earlier this year was successful in raising awareness of the issue. The #WhoRya conference attracted around 180 delegates who explored how agencies can work together more effectively to tackle mate crime.

Mate crime is a term used to describe physical, mental or financial abuse of people with learning disabilities by those they believe are their friends.

Chairman of the Jarrow and Boldon CAF, Councillor Jim Perry, said: "Taking advantage of vulnerable people is callous and completely unacceptable. I am proud that, as a Council, we have been proactive in raising awareness of this type of crime.

"Protecting our vulnerable people from this worrying practice is something we all need to take responsibility for. I would encourage people to come along to our meeting to find out how we can all work together to put an end to this despicable crime."

A film produced by Sunderland University students in partnership with the Council and Hebburn Ability Football Club highlighting the issues around mate crime will be shown on the day.

Members will also receive a presentation on Preparation for Universal Credit ahead of its full roll-out next month.

Universal Credit is a single monthly benefit payment for people in and out of work and replaces six benefits and tax credits: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.

The scheme went live in 2016 for some single people in the Borough but will be extended to claimants from May where there is a new claim or change in circumstances. Initially it will include single people and families where there are two or fewer children, though families with three or more children will be included, from November 2018. The new monthly payment will be paid into a bank or building society. It will be paid monthly into a bank or building society.

The presentation will outline the ways in which South Tyneside Homes staff are preparing for the roll-out. This will include signposting people to free access to IT, providing free advice on debt and budgeting as well as offering support with direct debits.

The meeting of Jarrow CAF will be held on Thursday, 19 April at 10am at Jarrow Town Hall. All are welcome.

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