Home U.K 'The rising trend is worrying': Dating apps put young women at risk...

'The rising trend is worrying': Dating apps put young women at risk of sexual assault


Louise Vesely-Shore, the principal crime analyst at the NCA, s” She added: “Anyone dating online should be aware of potential dangers, so they can be better prepared and make choices that are right for them. We want people to protect themselves when meeting someone in ­person for the first time – as well as deter would-be offenders from committing these types of crimes.”

Advice includes planning ahead, meeting in public, getting to know the person and, if feeling uncomfortable, to make their excuses and leave.

The NCA’s Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) reviewed data from 671 sexual assault cases committed between April 2003 and March 2021 after a first face-to-face meeting via a dating website or app.

The findings update a 2016 report and reveal the proportion of female victims aged 19 and under has risen from 12 percent to 22 percent.

Nearly half are aged between 20 and 29, said the NCA.

Only offending on SCAS databases was analysed. Unreported incidents or offences which police did not send to the NCA have not been examined. Ms Vesely-Shore said the sexual assaults continued during ­lockdown.

She added: “Although there hasn’t been an overall increase in offences since our initial report in 2016, it is notable this form of crime continued during the pandemic, despite the substantial restrictions on people’s lives.

“A sexual assault victim is never at fault and we do not want the circumstances in which these attacks take place to cause anyone to doubt that. 

“We want victims to feel confident reporting it to the police.”

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