UK Crimes Relating to Online Dating Have Almost Doubled Since 2015

Figures from 23 of the 43 police forces in the UK have shown that the number of crimes relating to online dating have almost doubled in the last four years.

Offences that mentioned an online dating service in the police report climbed from 329 in 2015 to 658 in 2018. This figure included instances of rape, assault and stalking.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has called on dating apps to be stricter, and put more verification steps in place to prevent dangerous criminals from signing up.

CEO of the Online Dating Association George Kidd has suggested that anyone who has been found guilty of committing certain crimes should be prohibited from using online dating services as standard.

He told BBC 5 Live Investigates: “We said to the Home Office and the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) when they were working together on the internet safety White Paper.

“What the Government has come forward with is this concept of a duty of care rather than these kinds of laws and prohibitions. It says to social media and dating companies ‘You are not just platforms or hosts, you have a duty of care’.”

These new regulations would hold companies accountable for the actions of users, whether that be on the platform itself or in the real world. The government also proposed an independent watchdog that would make sure they are adhering to a code of conduct.

More UK figures, released at the beginning of the year, showed that the number of crimes specifically related to Tinder have more than doubled since 2015.

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