February Crime Prevention Blog – Dating Safety Tips and Clare’s Law! By Crime Prevention & Architectural Liaison Officer Gerry McBride
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and millions of people will be purchasing gifts for those that they love, and many more will be looking for love online via the myriad of dating websites. Therefore, for my February crime prevention blog; I’m going to provide some safety tips when using these websites. I’m also going to explain a little about Clare’s Law, which is a check that you can carry out if you are already in a relationship.
It shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to you, but people online aren’t always who they say they are, so trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t.
Here are a few tips to help keep you safe.
- Don’t disclose private information on online dating sites.
- Keep initial contact on the dating site platform; don’t move to other social media sites until you are happy that the person you are talking to appears genuine.
- Ask as many questions as possible about the person and don’t rush into a relationship. Don’t feel pressured to meet before you are ready.
- Never send money to anyone that you are talking to, no matter what their story.
- Don’t share any personal images, once you press ‘send’ you can never get these images back.
- Talk to friends and family about your online relationships, and always tell someone where and when, if you decide to meet.
- Always meet and stay in a public place.
- Don’t be afraid to get up and leave if things aren’t going well.
- If you are consuming alcohol, limit the amount, and only take a drink that you’ve seen being poured. Never leave a drink unattended!
- Ideally have your own transport.
You may have got to know someone online, however, they are still a stranger to you. Get to know them in the ‘real world’ before inviting them into your home and personal life.
Clare’s Law was launched in 2011 following the murder of Clare Wood, by her partner, whom she met online, who had a history of violence towards women.
Under this scheme, police can disclose convictions/non-convictions from domestic abuse related incidents and other verifiable information to which the police have access.
This is a completely confidential service and your partner will never find out that you have asked. By requesting a disclosure you are giving yourself the best opportunity to make the right choice about your future relationship.
You can make a Clare’s Law disclosure request in person at a police station, by calling 101 or by speaking to a police officer in person.
Don’t let your partners’ past ruin your future!
If you have any information about a crime, contact the police on 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.