In the late 1980s police were concerned about the potential impacts of moves to close institutions housing people with mental health problems and intellectual disability. This concern resulted in a project designed to measure incidence of criminal victimisation among the latter group: face-to-face interviews were undertaken with 174 sheltered workshop attendees. This study highlighted the significantly heightened risk of the group for both personal and property crime and we undertook subsequent work in an attempt to identify variables that impacted upon vulnerability. The review of research extending beyond Wilson and Brewer indicated that the results were not isolated to this initial study. The paper reflects on the review to discuss research and other the activities in this area that have followed subsequently. Although advances have been made in the collection of data, and both criminal justice and social services have been encouraged to take note of this group's vulnerability, the challenge of decreasing criminal victimisation clearly remains. The nature and complexity of this challenge is described.