by UK National Crime Agency — published in 2016

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The National Crime Agency’s Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) has identified a significant increase in the number of reports to UK police forces about serious sexual assaults carried out by strangers that have been initiated through online dating. Reports indicate that these offences took place during the first face-to-face meeting between the victim and the offender after they initially met online. This emerging threat appears to be a result of the increasing popularity of online dating – including free and subscription services, dating websites, apps and ‘hook up’ services - combined with the behaviours and expectations fostered by an online environment.

By highlighting the identified behaviours and expectations associated with online dating, the NCA wishes to both encourage individuals to protect themselves when meeting someone in person for the first time and to deter would be offenders from engaging in these types of crimes.

Government, Social, Technological, privacy, social networks, cybercrime, data protection, Technology trends