Police in warning to online daters in Doncaster as lockdown restrictions lifted

Police have issued a warning to online dating users in Doncaster as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 9:23 am

South Yorkshire Police has put out tips and advice on safe dating as the number of people looking to meet others is expected to rise following the lifting of Covid-19 rules over meeting and social distancing.

A spokesman said: “We know that now lockdown restrictions are being eased, many people will be looking to download dating apps to meet new people.

“If you are planning on heading out on a date this week, make sure you get to know your date, and, if you do decide to meet, meet safely.

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Be safe if you are going online dating in Doncaster.

“Whether you’re a dating app novice, or a swiping pro, it’s important to do what you can to keep yourself safe from predators who may look to take advantage.”

Here are South Yorkshire Police’s tips for a safe date

1. Check their profile is verified, or has linked social media accounts. This is a good way to check they are who they say they are.

2. Don’t cut the small talk. Get to know someone before you meet them. If something feels off, un-match or block.

3. Sure, it might feel a bit awkward, but why not consider a virtual date first?

4. Tell a friend. If you do decide to meet, make sure you tell a friend where you are going and when, and agree an exit strategy should you need one.

5. Meet someone in the daytime or in a well-lit place, with other people around.

6. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. End the date.

7. In an emergency, call 999.

The spokesman added: “We wish we didn’t have to give you this guidance.

"In an ideal world, everyone would be able to date safely and without the fear of harm. But sometimes, dream dates can turn into nightmares.

“Whilst sexual offences stemming from dating app use are rare, they still do happen, and they can happen to anyone.

If you think you, or someone you know, may have been a victim of sexual abuse or violence, please report it to police by calling 101 or reporting online.

“We take all reports seriously, we will listen to you, we will take action and provide you with the appropriate support,” it added.