Sex attacks involving dating apps on the rise - police figures

Category : UK News
Updated On : April 15, 2019 05:09 AM
By Indian Times Daily

The number of recorded sexual offences involving online dating sites and apps has almost doubled in the last four years, police figures suggest. Offences where a dating site was mentioned in a police report increased from 156 in 2015, to 286 last year, according to figures from 23 of the 43 forces in England and Wales.

The Online Dating Association said apps try to protect users from harm. But the National Police Chiefs' Council said firms had a duty to do more.

The figures reveal that between 2015 and 2018 there were a total of 2,029 recorded offences - including sexual offences - where an online dating website or app was mentioned in a police report. In 2015, 329 offences were recorded, compared to 658 recorded offences last year.

Victims said, more should be done by the companies operating the apps to prevent predators from using them to seek out victims. They called on companies to ask for proof of ID documents and to carry out criminal record checks to prevent offenders from using dating apps to target victims.

Katherine Smith, 26, was stabbed to death by Anthony Lowe in September 2017, two months after they met on the website Plenty of Fish. Ms Smith was stabbed 33 times, receiving wounds to her back, heart and lungs.

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