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United Kingdom

Police in UK Warn About Dating Apps After Serial Killer Conviction (betanews.com) 40

Mark Wilson, writing for BetaNews: Police are warning people who use dating sites and dating apps to take extra precautions to ensure their safety. The advice comes after serial killer Stephen Port who contacted his victims through apps such as Grindr and Gaydar. While people making use of dating services have always been warned to take safety precautions, police are concerned that sexual predators are increasingly using such sites and apps as a way of finding potential victims. The UK's National Crime Agency has noticed an alarming increase in the number of people reporting cases of rape after meeting someone through a dating site or app. In 2009 the number was just 33, while in 2014 it had jumped to 184. Clearly things such changes to the reporting of sexual assault need to be factored in, as do considerations such as whether the number of reported incidents represents an increase in actual incidents in real terms.
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Police in UK Warn About Dating Apps After Serial Killer Conviction

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  • Also.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @11:43AM (#53360075)

    They should also warn about the dangers of meeting people at bars, parties, friend's homes, outdoor areas, malls, indoor areas, businesses, parks, playgrounds, movie theaters, civic centers, post offices, forests, etc etc etc.

    • But especially on the Internet. That's even more dangerous.

      Where men are men, women are men and children are FBI agents.

    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Sometimes being an introvert who doesn't like social events isn't such a bad thing.

    • Re:Also.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @01:23PM (#53360571)
      I think that's kinda the point. They're not giving the warning based on the premise that Internet meetings are more dangerous than other types of meetings. They're just warning people that meetings arranged over the Internet are just as dangerous as other meetings. There's a tendency for people to feel safer about meeting someone over the Internet because the initial correspondence is not direct. The nervousness and anxiety which primes your fight or flight mechanisms is missing or isn't as strong. And a lot of the subconscious body language cues which help you notice that something is "off" about this guy are completely absent. This may lull people into a false sense of safety about meeting someone IRL that they "know" from the Internet.
      • There's a tendency for people to feel safer about meeting someone over the Internet because the initial correspondence is not direct.

        Is there? Was there the same tendency back in the days when you had to write to a box number at the newspaper? I ... ummm ... heard it used to work like that.

        • Those box-numbered adverts were paid for by the person posting the advert(*). If that was done by cheque, then there is a traceable route there. If it were done in cash at the newspaper's office (or by postal order), then there were people who would potentially recognise (or at least be able to give a description of) the poster.

          It didn't stop frauds and assaults, but it did discourage them.

          (*) Remember - every column inch of "content" in a public newspaper or magazine exists solely for the purpose of sell

    • You left out catholic churches and (topically) football clubs.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      They should also warn about the dangers of meeting people at bars, parties, friend's homes, outdoor areas, malls, indoor areas, businesses, parks, playgrounds, movie theaters, civic centers, post offices, forests, etc etc etc.

      First off, this is just the UK Police. They're just putting out a public service announcement after a few cases have been reported even though it's just stating the bleeding obvious. Its their way of showing everyone they're Doing Something(TM).

      Secondly, its difficult for a predator who looks rats to get a girl into their home from a bar, parties, outdoor areas, supermarkets, B&Q's and what not. You do have to admit that the internet, especially hook up applications like Tinder have made it easier fo

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Secondly, its difficult for a predator who looks rats to get a girl into their home

        Gee whiz, I forgot that most rapists and predators and bad people look "rats" or are unattractive.

        The UK Police should have just put out a PSA saying, "Only date attractive people! You have nothing to fear from attractive people because none of them have ever done anything bad."

  • Hmm I first read the title as Convention instead of Conviction. Made the first read more interesting.
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @11:53AM (#53360119) Homepage

    Pretty much anyplace you meet someone (online or offline) has the potential of the other person being a creep or a criminal. This is why you never meet the person alone and in a private area for the first time. My wife and I met online (Yahoo Chat Rooms). We spoke for a month before meeting in person, but even then, my wife and I took precautions. We met in a very public place (a busy shopping area half way between where we each lived) and we each brought people with us to help "rescue" us if the other person wasn't who they said they were online. Thankfully, it all worked out nicely that day. (Except for having to leave each other at the end of the day. We clicked so well that we didn't want to separate.) Had it turned sour, though, we would have had precautions in place to ensure our safety.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Thankfully, it all worked out nicely that day.
       
      That's not what she said...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Numbers without references are so, so meaningless.

    Numbers in the 100s sound really low to me.

    First, I wonder how many that is out of. Seems like I've seen numbers of 20% + of dates having internet origin today. So, wouldn't that then be 184 out of millions?

    What is the total number of reported rapes by dates? Is this more than 20% of that total?

    As much as 70% of adults report having been sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. The percentage that are raped just within the few years of coll

  • You swipe right/left on pictures of windowless vans.

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