Online Dating Crime: The Figures

There has been a dramatic rise in online dating crime.

Last week, Sky News reported that 2,054 offences were recorded between 2011 and 2016.

Back in 2011, 140 crimes were recorded.  By 2016 this figure had risen to 676.  Therefore, the UK has seen 382% increase in online dating crime. During the same period, the number of reported sexual crimes rose from 14 to 106. Violent attacks increased from 29 to 240.

Due to the secrecy often involved within the online dating world, a large number of crimes remain unreported. As a result, actual figures are far higher.

Former Tinder user, Louise, aged 35, told us “I rarely confided in anyone when I met a Tinder date for the first time. I had no idea who I was meeting or how safe the situation would be. People can pretend to be whoever they want to be on an app, can’t they?”

The Dating Safely Campaign

This careless attitude towards personal safety provided the motivation for the Dating Agency Association’s national Dating Safely Campaign.  A free downloadable guide is available to everyone via the Dating Agency Association website.  The information within this guide enables single men and women to enjoy meeting new people whilst making their own personal safety a priority.   As children we were all taught the dangers of trusting a stranger.  Now that we’re adults, it’s important we don’t take the attitude that suddenly these dangers no longer exist. Men and women are at equal risk when it comes to online dating crime.  The Dating Agency Association insists upon high standards of safeguarding within its member agencies.  It also reminds people that ultimately, it’s your own decision-making that will keep you safe.

As a member of the Dating Agency Agency Association, Searchmate is proud of its safeguarding policies.  Managing Director, Mike Parker, explains – “We use state of the art verification systems and interview every potential client before approving a membership.  I’m proud to say that the service Searchmate offers is a million miles from online dating.”

Please download a copy of the Dating Safely Guidelines at :

For more information about how you can date in confidence with Searchmate, call senior membership adviser, Julie, on 0800 644 4160

9am – 9pm Every Day