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Allegations of dating site rapes up sixfold

By Kate Ferguson

The number of allegations of stranger rapes linked to dating websites has soared sixfold in five years, Britain's top crime-fighting body has warned.

National Crime Agency figures show that 184 people reported being raped by someone they had met on a dating app or website in 2014 - up from 33 in 2009.

Sean Sutton, head of the NCA's Serious Crimes Analysis Section, believes that it could herald the emergence of a "new breed" of rapist, as these alleged sex offenders are less likely to have a criminal record.

A new NCA report, Emerging New Threat In Online Dating, highlights the growing problem and the force is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of online dating.

Mr Sutton added: "Part of our campaign is to encourage people to come forward.

"Our message is that the police will take them seriously and deal with them sympathetically.

"It is potentially quite a different type of character who is perpetrating these offences from our usual, if I can use that term, stranger rape case."

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