The UK National Crime Agency’s data shows a spike in online dating related crime in Scotland.
Instances of rape related to online dating have increased more than threefold since 2014. In that year, six cases were reported.
In 2015, there were 10 cases. In 2016 there were 16, and in 2017 there were 20.
The majority of victims are women, and the majority of attacks occur at the first in-person meeting.
Sean Sutton, NCA Head of National Investigative Capabilities, told The Scotsman: “No one will be surprised that the internet and its capabilities, while making life very much easier and simpler for us all to navigate, means that offenders will also use that ease of use and simplicity to identify potential victims.”
The NCA figures differ from the Police Scotland figures, which suggest there were 87 online dating related instances of rape across 2016-17. This represented an increase of over 20% from previous annual figures.
Approximately 1 million Scots are registered on one or more online dating sites.
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