Gang using Grindr dating app to target and rob gay men in London

Grindr

A gang of thieves are targeting victims through gay dating app Grindr.

Police have released a statement after two victims were mugged at knifepoint.

It’s thought that the gang are trawling the app and arranging dates specifically to rob their victims.

The attacks took place in Croydon, south London, and both involved a man duped into a date being accosted by a gang of four.

The victims were left shaken by the assault, which happened within 48 hours of one another, but thankfully they were not seriously injured.

DC Sheree Yates, of the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘The victims thankfully did not suffer serious physical injuries but have been left very shaken by these incidents.

‘We are keen to identify the suspects as soon as possible and are appealing to anyone with any information to contact the police.

‘We would also like to take this opportunity to reassure the LGBT community that we are doing everything we can to arrest these men.’

She added: ‘I would urge everyone who uses online dating apps and sites to take steps to help them to stay safe whilst meeting strangers.’

Police also released safety tips for anyone arranging to meet strangers via a dating app:

  • Don’t share personal details such as your home address until you can trust the person you are communicating with
  • If you decide to meet in person, let someone know where you are going and when you’re likely to return
  • Always meet in a public place with lots of people around
  • Plan your journey to and from the date in advance. If using a mini cab always pre-book
  • Drink responsibly and never leave your drink unattended
  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and working
  • If at any time your feel uncomfortable, leave the date – you are not obliged to stay

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Anyone who has been the victim of crime through online dating can contact police or Victim Support on 0808 1689 111.

In an emergency call the police 999, or 101 if not an emergency.

Organisations like Galop and the Metro Charity can provide independent advice and support to gay men and men who have sex with men.

Grindr is a geosocial networking application geared towards gay and bisexual men. It runs on iOS and Android. Available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, Grindr comes in both free and subscription-based versions (Grindr Xtra). The app makes use of the device’s geolocation, which allows users to locate other men within close proximity. This is accomplished through a user interface that displays a grid of representative pictures of men, arranged from nearest to farthest away. Tapping on a picture will display a brief profile for that user, as well as the option to chat, send pictures, and share one’s location.

Grindr was the first gay geosocial app to launch in the iTunes App Store and has since become the largest and most popular gay mobile app community in the world. It is currently available in 192 countries.

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Information about hate crime in Lambeth
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