Sex attacks involving dating apps on the rise
The number of recorded sexual offences involving dating apps and online sites has almost doubled in the last four years, police figures revealed.
Offences where a dating site was cited in a police report increased from 156 in 2015, to 286 last year, according to figures from 23 of the 43 forces in England and Wales.
The Online Dating Association said apps try to protect users from harm, the BBC reported.
However, the National Police Chiefs Council said firms had a duty to do more to tackle the issue.
Figures show that between 2015 and 2018 there were a total of 2,029 recorded offences – including sexual offences – where an online dating website or app was mentioned in a police report.
During 2015, 329 offences were recorded, compared to 658 recorded offences last year.
Victims told BBCs 5 Live Investigates, that much more needed to be done by the companies running the apps, to prevent predators from using them in order to seek out victims.
Some of the measures they called out for, included companies asking for proof of ID documents and carrying out criminal record checks to prevent offenders from using dating apps to target victims.
Katherine Smith, 26, was stabbed to death by Anthony Lowe in September 2017, two months after meeting on the website Plenty of Fish.
After pleading guilty to murder at Cardiff Crown Court last year, Lowe was jailed for a minimum of 18 years.
During his trial, the court heard how Lowe faked his identity to meet Ms Smith, saying he was 10 years younger and that his name was Tony Moore. He did not mention his criminal past.
Katherines mother, Debbie, said: They should double-check people before they let them on to these sites, its so easy.
If Katherine had known he had a criminal record she wouldnt have gone out with him.