In the light of the recent Match.com rape case and other very bad publicity for the Online Dating sector, such as the crime statistics related to online dating published by the National Crime Agency in February 2016, dating safely is right at the top of the agenda with the Dating Agency Association. So much so that yesterday we updated our Code of Practice for members to make it compulsory for all websites to carry a ‘dating safely’ section and to publish guidelines for clients to follow.
All members of the Dating Agency Association have been instructed to offer safety guidelines to members via their websites and to also utilise stringent background checks for all members. These should include the following:
- All clients are interviewed.
- All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the client is single and available.
- That all clients are asked if they have a criminal record or have received a police caution.
- That background checks are made on every joiner.
- That documentary evidence of client address is provided by every joiner.
- That photographic evidence of identity is provided in every case.
- Member companies are fully compliant with confidentiality and data protection.
Tina Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of the Dating Agency Association, said “We are committed to making dating in the UK as safe as possible and have reviewed the code of practice and guidelines provided to members. Our view is that the background checks provided above are the bare minimum standards that dating companies should be working to, whatever their niche or sector and that it is no longer acceptable that this is prevented by volume or number of joiners. If you want to provide dating services in the UK, then this is the standard the Dating Agency Association would like to see set and made compulsory in law.”