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The Dangers of Online Dating

Rise in the number of rapes, sexual assaults and stalking cases involving victims who were targeted on online dating platforms and mobile apps.

5 Live Investigates has seen figures which show a big rise in the number of rapes, sexual assaults and stalking cases involving victims who were targeted on online dating platforms and mobile apps. The programme has received figures from more than half of the police forces in England and Wales which show the number of crimes has more than doubled between 2015 and 2018.

The programme hears from the mother of a woman who was murdered after meeting a man on a website called Plenty of Fish and a man who had his drinks spiked by a convicted sex offender he met on an app called Grindr. Forensic psychologist Dr Ruth Tully works with offenders who have targeted people via dating apps. She tells 5 Live Investigates the platforms provide ‘opportunity’ and if they didn’t exist, the crimes would never have happened.

The Online Dating Association which represents some online dating sites and mobile apps says its members do all they can to protect people from harm.

Picture credit: Leon Neal\Getty

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