Seven million UK residents are registered on dating sites, and around one te three relationships te the UK now begin online.
11:44, UK, Monday 09 October
By Siobhan Robbins, Sky News Verslaggever
Reported crimes related to online dating have risen dramatically te the last five years.
Sensational figures for Sky News from UK police compels vertoning that Two,054 offences were recorded inbetween 2011 and .
Te 2011, 140 crimes were recorded, by that had risen to 676 – a 382% increase.
Te the same period, the number of sexual crimes reported rose from 14 to 106 and violent attacks were up from 29 to 240.
Becky Crozier suffered funk attacks and depression after being stalked by a man she met online.
After three dates she broke up but despite not exposing where she lived he managed to track hier down.
For almost Ten months she wasgoed too funked to leave hier house.
“I’d get at least a text message every minute, if I didn’t reply, and if I’d turn my phone off, he’d stadionring mij,” she explained.
“It got to the point where he’d come to the town and walk about and see if he could bump into mij.
“He’d say he wished to grab mij by the mouth and waterput mij against the wall. I wasgoed just frightened that he wasgoed going to come to my house and eventually kill mij.”
Around seven million UK residents are presently registered on dating sites, and it’s estimated one te three relationships ter the UK now starts online.
Sky News found crimes involving two of the thickest apps, Tinder and Grindr, have bot rising year on year.
Some users told mij they’ve now noticed a darker side to dating ranging from an increase te fake profiles to drug-fuelled hookup parties.
Online dater Bobu Constantin says he’s now more cautious about which apps he uses: “Since I joined Grindr a duo of years ago wasn’t very bad, now it’s very, it’s actually utterly bad” he said.
“It’s about meeting people but not only dating, it’s about lovemaking and chemsex and drugs, and when drugs are involved and drank it completes very, very badly.”
Most sites now suggest safety tips and while Tinder didn’t react to Sky News’ request for a comment, Grindr says it doesn’t condone violent or abusive behaviour and works with the authorities and LGBTQ communities to help protect users.
Te a statement a spokesperson said: “Grindr is committed to creating a safe environment through a system of digital and human screening contraptions to help its users connect and thrive.
“Grindr encourages users to report suspicious and menacing activities. While wij are permanently improving upon this process, it is significant to recall that Grindr is an open toneel.”
The National Crime Agency has bot monitoring violence connected to online dating and has detected the number of rapes being reported has risen sixfold te five years.
The NCA’s head of national investigative capabilities, Sean Sutton, told Sky News: “Wij know that only about 16% of all stranger pescadora cases and sexual assaults ter normal are reported to the police so wij know that wij are only dealing with the peak of the iceberg of the problem so that’s why wij’re keeping a good eye on it.”
So how can you stay safe online? Grindr offers tips including telling users to protect their identities, tell a friend where you’re going and who you are meeting and report any attacks or threats to law enforcement.
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For Mr Sutton, meeting te public is the most significant message.
“Overheen 70% of the stranger pescador cases wij see are from people going huis with their date or taking their date back to their own accommodation on the very first date,” he said.