All the same, the NCA noted that the incidents had a lot in common.
Most notably, 72% were carried out in the home of either the victim or the perpetrator, and 41% of the dates that led to assaults started at home, rather than moving there after an initial meeting somewhere else.
But fake profiles abound, sexual predators use the sites, and some common online dating behavior—like meeting alone after scant acquaintance, sharing personal information, and using geolocation—puts users at risk.
In Britain, attacks related to online dating increased almost six-fold over roughly the same period.
Often on multiple apps at once, users can swipe through dozens of profiles every minute and plan multiple dates, whether in hopes of a love match or a hook-up.
Decisions to meet arise from limited information: A convenient location; a sultry glance captured in pixels; a mutual interest in “banter.” In 2014, Tinder users were spending as long as 90 minutes a day on the site.
John Leech thinks the situation is new, and dangerous.
A local council member in Manchester, in the north of England, Leech this year launched a campaign to make online dating companies commit to keeping their users safer.