A Christian dating expert said with the rise of free dating apps, it’s not shocking that online dating related crimes have increased.
Jackie Elton’s comments come after police forces across the UK reported that offences have risen from just 140 in 2011 to 676 last year. Among them were 240 alleged violent attacks.
The National Crime Agency says the number of rapes being reported in connection with online dating has risen six-fold in five years.
Elton, who’s the CEO of online dating site Christian Connection, told Premier News Hour how she advises people to stay safe.
She said: “If they meet in a public place, they make sure they have a brief and friendly meeting first off, and they make sure they don’t get followed home, that’s a really good opportunity to gauge the situation and keep safe.”
She also stressed the importance of making sure people let their friends know where they are when on a date.
However, Elton said a lot of warning signs can be seen before meeting in person. She encouraged people to spend a lot of time getting to know there other person before having the first date.
She added that Christian Connection invites people to create very detailed profiles to help with that.
Elton told Premier: “There is a much longer preparation time. There will be emails, and people will chat.
“I think when things move to mobile, and it’s swiping right, it’s a much more instant meeting.
“There’s much less information you learn about people before meeting.”
While Tinder hasn’t commented on the new figures, a spokesman for dating app Grindr said in a statement that it’s “committed to creating a safe environment through a system of digital and human screening tools to help its users connect and thrive”.