People should be vigilant when meeting people through dating apps this summer, police say. (File photo)
One Aucklander each week has disclosed being sexually assaulted by a stranger they met through a dating app.
But many more offences are likely to go under-reported, police say.
The findings come two years after British backpacker Grace Millane was killed in Auckland after meeting a man through a dating app.
Grace, 22, was murdered on December 1, 2018, by a man she met for a Tinder date in Auckland’s CBD.
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A week later, her body was found in the Wait?kere Ranges.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard, who oversees Auckland City’s adult sexual assault team, said police field a number of reports of sexual offences involving such dating apps as Tinder, Bumble, Grindr and Badoo.
“We also know that sexual or other offending in these scenarios often goes under-reported to police,” he said.
Police are warning people to be vigilant when meeting up after chatting online this summer.
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Detective Inspector Scott Beard, who led the Grace Millane murder investigation, says “rough sex” is not a defence to murder.
They should meet for the first time in a public place and let someone know where they are going and who they are meeting, Beard said.
People should trust their instincts and cut the date short if something does not feel right, he said.
“In some cases it is best for one party to make their excuses and leave in a situation you may not be comfortable with.
“If you feel unsafe, call 111 immediately.”
Beard urged people to keep an eye on their own drinks and to avoid accepting drinks from a stranger.
He also reminded men to check their own behaviours during dates.
“Just because you are meeting up with someone and you’re having a good time doesn’t automatically give you consent,” Beard said.
“Consent must be given, consent cannot be assumed, and it can also be withdrawn at any time.
“Sexual violence is not part of consenting and there is no tolerance for this sort of offending.”