Cumbria Constabulary has issued a statement after Victim Support says that companies behind apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Plenty of Fish need to do more in order to protect their users.
DCI Vicki Coombes, the lead officer for rape and serious offences, gave her advice on how to stay safe whilst using online dating apps:
- Be anonymous.
- Keep contact details private.
- Keep communications on the dating app.
- Cease communication if you feel uncomfortable.
She goes on to remind everyone that, despite the length of time spent communicating, the person is still a stranger. “Don’t share your address or other key personal information. Always remain in public for the first few dates and make sure you tell a friend or family member where you are going and who you are going with.
“Arrange for the friend to call you during the date, letting your date know that someone knows where you are. This also gives you an opportunity to let someone know if it’s not going well and you need an excuse to leave.
“Alternatively you could arrange to meet somewhere that is participating in the “Ask for Angela” scheme so a member of staff can help you if things are not going as expected.”