Online dating related crimes have increased dramatically in the past 5 years.
Between 2011 and 2016, figures from the UK police force showed that 2,054 offences were recorded.
Only 140 crimes were recorded in 2011, however the figure witnessed a 382% increase by 2016 (676 cases).
According to Sky News, the number of sexual related crimes have also risen from 14 to 106 while cases involving violent attacks increased from 29 to 240 in the same period.
Becky Crozier, one of the victims, suffered panic attacks and depression after the man she met online kept stalking her.
Crozier broke up with her ‘online boyfriend’ after three dates, but the man knew where she lived although she never revealed her home address.
Too frightened to go out, she locked herself in for more than 10 months.
“I’d get at least a text message every minute, if I didn’t reply, and if I turned my phone off, he’d ring me.
“It got to the point where he’d come to town and walk about and see if he could bump into me.
“He’d say he wanted to grab me by the throat and put me against the wall. I was just scared that he was going to come to my house and eventually kill me,” she explained.
Currently, there are approximately 7 million UK residents registered on online dating sites.
It is also estimated that 1 in 3 relationships in the UK now start online, and crimes involving the two of the biggest online dating apps – Tinder and Grindr are rising year on year.
An online dater named Bobu Constantin said that he is now more cautious on which application to use.
“When I joined Grindr a couple of years ago, it wasn’t bad, now very, it’s actually extremely bad,” said Constantin.
He added that the app was not only about dating, but it was also about meeting people, sex, chemsex and drugs.
“When drugs and alcohol are involved, it ends very, very badly,” he said.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has been monitoring violence related to online dating.
The agency found that the number of reported rape cases have increased sixfold in a period of 5 years.
“We know that only about 16% of all stranger rape cases and sexual assaults in general are reported to the police so we know that we are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg of the problem so that’s why we’re keeping a good eye on it,” said Sean Sutton, NCA’s head of national investigative capabilities.
Sutton revealed that over 70% of stranger rape cases involved were “people going home with their date or taking their date back to their own accommodation on the first date.”