Keep yourself safe when using dating apps

Police say the victims haven't done anything wrong. File Photo.

Police are urging users of dating app users to take steps to protect themselves when meeting up with people they’ve only spoken to online.

"In the Christchurch Youth Court today, five teenagers were sentenced in relation to attacks on several innocent people in the city last year," says detective senior sergeant Damon Wells.

"The offenders met their victims through dating apps and attacked them in secluded locations late at night.

"While details of the sentencing are subject to Youth Court restrictions, the victims showed incredible courage and that has helped us convict these offenders.

"The victims have done nothing wrong.

"The offenders made a choice to take advantage of people’s trust and planned these attacks with the intention of hurting people.

"While this sentencing brings some closure, it won’t undo the mental scars these victims have endured, or the pain they’ve gone through.

"If you’re using an app for dating, tell a close friend if you’re meeting someone for the first time – where you’re going and who you’re meeting.

"Arrange to catch up in a busy location, and trust yourself; if something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to take action to keep yourself safe.

"The victims of these crimes have gone through an ordeal, but we can’t thank them enough for their bravery through this process."

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