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Carlisle Mencap launches film highlighting ‘mate crime’ dangers

CARLISLE Mencap’s Independence Studio of disabled filmmakers has produced a film that focuses on the dangers of mate crime.

Produced with the support of the Police Commissioner Peter McCall, Cumbria Constabulary, and Haltwhistle Film Project, the short film will be launched at a special ceremony on Wednesday, February 6 at Harraby Community Theatre in Edgehill Road.

Featuring members from the charity’s Independence Studio – based at Carlisle Mencap’s Grace Little Centre in north Carlisle – Tell Someone puts the spotlight on mate crime, when someone befriends a vulnerable person with the intention of exploiting them financially, physically or sexually.

Sheila Gregory, the CEO of Carlisle Mencap, said: “Vulnerable people are often lonely and very susceptible to mate crime. Many don’t understand the dangers and regard the perpetrators as their friends. The victims can suffer very real harm in these situations.”

She added: “The film depicts ‘cuckoos’ – when criminals move into vulnerable people’s homes and take over their lives. The Independence Studio members are ideal to make a film like this because they are disabled themselves and are therefore able to produce a product that is accessible to their peers.”

Tell Someone is the latest in a series of films produced by Carlisle Mencap’s Independence Studio, an art and animation used by talented young adults with a learning disability.

It has produced short animated films on topics including voting and healthy eating, but the studio has also tackled more serious issues. The dangers of sexual exploitation was featured in a film called Is It Ok?. Meanwhile last year, Take Control focused on hate crime and that film was supported by the police and the Home Office.

The disabled members create the products by taking the lead in script writing, filmmaking and acting. All these films can be viewed on YouTube and bought from Carlisle Mencap.

All these films can be viewed on YouTube and copies can be bought from Carlisle Mencap.

Carlisle Mencap, which provides support and services for more than 500 children and adults with learning disabilities across Cumbria and their families, prides itself at being at the forefront of issues like hate crime and was a big reason why last year the charity was chosen to be a partner in the annual nationwide #NO2H8 Crime Awards which celebrates individuals and organisations countering hatred, intolerance and prejudice. Other high-profile partners included the Daily Mirror and Kiss FM.

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