The Sunday Times Cover Story Calls Out Dating Apps on Child Protection

A British Member of Parliament has called on dating apps to enforce tougher age verification processes after it was revealed there have been at least 30 cases of child rape relating to online dating since 2015. 

The Sunday Times reported these figures after a freedom of information request was submitted to UK police forces. 10 of the 46 constabularies responded and disclosed an additional 60 cases of other child sex offences. 

Jeremy Wright, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said on the front page of The Sunday Times“I will be writing to these companies asking what measures they have in place to keep children safe from harm, including verifying their age.

“If I’m not satisfied with their response, I reserve the right to take further action.”

The youngest victim is believed to be as young as eight, and another 13-year-old boy was sexually abused by at least 21 seperate men he had met on Grindr. 

A Grindr spokesperson explained“Any account of sexual abuse or other illegal behaviour is troubling to us as well as a clear violation of our terms of service.

“Our team is constantly working to improve our digital and human screening tools to prevent and remove improper underage use of our app.”

Last week, a 28-year-old man from Manchester was jailed for two-and-a-half years after engaging in sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl. He claimed he thought the girl was 19 when they matched on a dating app. 

UK police announced that 2018 saw at least 1,078 Tinder-related crimes reported, more than double the 442 offences in 2015.

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Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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