Are YOU in danger on your Tinder date? Former undercover officer reveals 10 ways to stay safe – from checking their social media in advance to setting up a code word with friends
- Channel 4’s Hunted investigator Danni Brooke shares her safe dating tips
- Comes as police reveal that call-outs linked to dating apps have doubled
- You should always have first date in public and leave if you’re uncomfortable
Police recently revealed that they are dealing with 20 ‘Tinder crimes’ a week and the number of call-outs linked to dating apps has more than doubled in three years.
And, as a quarter of Brits admit they don’t know how to stay safe on a date, Channel 4 Hunted investigator and former undercover officer Danni Brooke has revealed her top 10 tips to stay safe when meeting someone new.
From coming up with a code word to share with friends to stalking your date’s social media ahead of the meeting, scroll down to read her simple guide to protecting yourself.
A top investigator has revealed how to stay safe on a date after police recently revealed that they are dealing with 20 Tinder-related crimes a week (stock image)
1. Do your background checks on your date
Half of singletons in the dating pool would like to know the full name of their new love interest before meeting them for the first time, a survey of 2,000 daters revealed.
Age, images of the person, their relationship intention and mobile phone number are also high on the priority list for people.
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And while less than 20 per cent would bother looking into a date’s criminal history, Danni says it’s worth giving their social media the once over for any red flags.
She said: ‘Over 83 per cent of people here in the UK have social media, so always check to see if your date has an online presence.
‘A social media page saves you time and provides a wealth of knowledge about someone.’
2. Listen to your gut instinct
Almost half (49 per cent) of singles looking for love have ignored their gut instinct while they have been on a first date.
Hunted Investigator Danni Brooke shares her top tips for staying safe on a date
The daters admitted they felt obliged to stay longer than they wanted to in order to ensure they didn’t offend the other person.
Despite ignoring their instincts, as many as 88 per cent of Brits pinpointed intuition as one of the most important factors in keeping safe while dating.
3. Always tell someone where you’re going, and with who
More than a third of people are guilty of not telling their relatives or close friends when they are going out on a date with someone they haven’t met before.
Younger people, 18-24 year olds, are the best at confiding in a friend or family member about their date, with 65 per centletting a third party know where they will be.
This is 10 per cent more than 25-35 year olds and 11 per cent more than 35-44 year olds.
Women are good at this, twice as many females tell someone exactly where they are going on a date and who with.
It is always a good idea to let a trusted BFF or your mum where you are going and who you are going to be going out with.
4. Have the date at a known public place
A coffee shop, bar or a restaurant are always a good idea for first outing.
As many as 23 per cent people go to their new love interest’s home or invite them to their own abode.
Danni said: ‘Don’t go to their house or invite them to yours, meet in a public place. Bars, coffee shops or restaurants are good.
‘Many of these options will have CCTV cameras and you have the comfort of the staff being present.’
5. If you aren’t 100 per cent comfortable – leave. Don’t stay to be polite
Almost a quarter of Brits have felt concerned for their safety when they have been on a date in the last 12 months.
There’s no need to be polite if you’re feeling uncomfortable on your date. Always leave if you’re concerned for your safety (stock image)
6. Make sure you have battery life on your phone
This will allow you to reach out to your friends or family members if you need to.
7. Set up a coded call with your friend, even if you’re OK
Only 15 per cent of daters keep in regular contact with a pal or relative while meeting someone new.
Arrange for a close BFF to drop you a call during the date, even if you are OK.
This does two jobs, it allows you to feel safer while out as well as letting your friend know things are going smoothly.
Police are now dealing with 20 ‘Tinder crimes’ a WEEK
By Katherine Rushton Media and Technology Editor for The Daily Mail
The number of Tinder-related police call-outs has more than doubled in the last three years, official figures show.
Police now receive more than 20 reports a week linked to the online dating app. As recently as 2015, police had about eight Tinder-related calls a week, or a total of 442.
Police figures indicate this rose to 1,087 in 2018 – although as not every force provided a full set of figures, the true total is likely to be even higher.
The jump in reports follows a spate of high-profile crimes in which fraudsters, rapists and killers have used the smartphone app to trawl for victims.
Forces did not specify the nature of the incidents logged, but previous research has found that around a third of crimes involving dating apps are sexual assaults and rapes.
Freedom of information requests sent to every British police force found Devon and Cornwall to have the most Tinder-related call-outs, with 86 in the year to December 10.
Assuming they continued to receive calls at the same rate, this would have risen to 91 by the year’s end.
Essex and the West Midlands were close behind with 84 and 83 respectively, based on similar calculations.
Many incidents occurred on public transport, with British Transport Police recording 51 calls in 2018.
A number of forces did not respond to the request, while others did not provide figures for the entire year, meaning the true scale of the problem is likely to be even greater than the data suggests.
The changing face of dating – and the associated risks – have prompted some innovative responses by police.
Avon and Somerset police placed its own ‘lonely hearts’ listing on Tinder in 2015 – using the name Bobby – to warn users to stay safe when meeting strangers.
8. Get to the date location early
Ten to 15 minutes should be enough time to arrive early for your date. You’ll feel more comfortable if you’re familiarised with the surroundings and can choose your own seat in a place where you feel secure.
9. Set up Find my Friends on your phone
Find my Friends is automatically installed on an iPhone using iOS 9 or later.
However, if the device uses a version of iOS 8, install the Find my Friends app for free and sign in to the iCloud on your iPhone.
It will then automatically sign in to Find my Friends with your Apple ID.
Brits can even download the Find my Friends on their Apple Watch by going into the settings > general > location services and then turning on Share my Location.
10. Arrange your transport to and from the date ahead of time
Book your train or taxi ride home or arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up ahead of time.
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