Government dating service
Dating companies are being pushed to better protect users, but some seem reluctant to do more— or even to talk about whether there’s a problem.
John Leech thinks the situation is new, and dangerous.
Better reporting, therefore, might also partly explain why internet dating assaults have increased in the UK.
All the same, the NCA noted that the incidents had a lot in common.
In Britain, attacks related to online dating increased almost six-fold over roughly the same period.
The online environment could also lull users into thinking they know someone, and therefore making themselves vulnerable.Victims, as well as perpetrators, hide crimes: Only an estimated 17% of all rapes, app-linked or not, are reported to police, the NCA said.Nevertheless, while app-related assaults were still rare, they were rising fast enough for the NCA to flag the emergence of “a new type of sexual offender.” Usually a man, he’s less likely than other sexual offenders to have committed any kind of crime before, but instead exploits the “ease of access and arm-chair approach” to meeting people that dating sites enable.A total of 58 people were victims of online dating-related crimes in those four years, some of them sexual. For context, in 2012 the area had an overall average of 243 sexual assaults and rapes every month.)Many apps offer a page of advice for safe dating.But Leech wants other protections, like giving users alerts about potential risks before they ever begin chatting with strangers.