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New investigation finds more than 30 cases of child rape in the UK after meeting on hook-up apps

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright calls for UK government to consider new age verification legislation

2019-02-12

Words: Steve Brown

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said the UK government would consider new legislation requiring porn to use age verification after a new investigation found more than 30 cases of child rape on apps.

The Sunday Times found that since 2015, more than 30 cases of child rape in the UK had occurred where the victims were contacted on apps such as Grindr and Tinder.

In one incident, a 13-year-old boy was allegedly raped or sexually abused by at least 21 men after he had signed up to apps including Grindr and Badoo.

The newspaper also found that there are more than 60 furthers of child sex offences using online dating services including kidnapping, grooming and violent sexual assault, following a Freedom of Information request.

Another incident found an eight-year-old child sent images of a sexual nature to another user and had a ‘sexual conversation’ with him after being groomed on an unnamed app.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told the newspaper: “I will be writing to these companies asking what measures they have in place to keep children safe from harm, including verifying their age.

“If I’m not satisfied with their response, I reserve the right to take further action.”

Following the report, a Grindr spokesperson told PinkNews: “Grindr is committed to creating a safe and secure environment to help our community connect and thrive, and any account of sexual abuse or other illegal behaviour is troubling to us as well as a clear violation of our terms of service.

“We encourage users to report improper or illegal behaviour either within the app or directly via email to [email protected]

“In addition, our team is constantly working to improve our digital and human screening tools to prevent and remove improper underage use of our app.”