Police statistics show that more than 500 crimes have been linked to popular dating apps Grindr and Tinder, including murder, rape and child abuse.
Officers across the country say they have dealt with 162 sexual offences, including 63 rapes. Shockingly, serial killer Stephen Port was revealed to have found his victims through Grindr. Port has now been sent to prison for life for killing four men he met through the gay dating app. He persuaded them to go to his apartment before drugging, raping and murdering them.
However, there are fears that these figures could just be the tip of the iceberg. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said that while many people managed to find their perfect partner through such apps, others had become the victims of terrible crimes. He urged police to do more to warn of the dangers posed by online dating.
The Met Police said it had dealt with 98 crimes related to the two apps, while Greater Manchester had 58 and Merseyside had 49 reported incidents. The statistics have been releaved in a Freedom of Information request which shows that the issue is becoming increasingly worrying. While police in Greater Manchester dealt with two rapes related to the apps last year, this year, the figure is 12.
Stay safe on dating apps
Police investigated a number of sexual crimes, including child abuse and grooming, as well as theft and harrassment. National lead for violence and public protection Chief Constable Simon Bailey urged people using dating apps to be as careful as possible. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said that the Met Police worked hard to bring offenders to justice, and urged people to use apps safely. Anyone who does fall victim to crime is urged to report what has happened to them as soon as possible. Grindr, which is mainly used by gay and bisexual men was launched in 2009, while Tinder was released four years ago.