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Australia: Queensland Police joins forces with Tinder to help prevent sexual assault

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Queensland Police has partnered with Tinder, in a world-first collaboration to combat sexual assault on online dating platforms.

QPS Commissioner Katarina Carroll said reports of sexual assaults linked to dating apps have increased dramatically in recent years.

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A new campaign created by Tinder and Queensland Police aims to help combat sexual assault on online dating apps. © qps A new campaign created by Tinder and Queensland Police aims to help combat sexual assault on online dating apps.

"We are always monitoring these emerging technologies and we've seen from our data that over the last ten years, sexual assaults linked to online dating apps have become more frequent," Ms Carroll said.

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"Our reporting went from about three to four rapes reported to us in 2008 to around 49 in recent years and we know it's definitely underreported. 

"We wanted to go straight to the source."

She added that a new online law enforcement portal is also in the works, to help connect victims with support services and help them report perpetrators to police.

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QPS commissioner Katarina Carroll said rates of sexual assault reporting linked to online dating were on the rise. © Nine QPS commissioner Katarina Carroll said rates of sexual assault reporting linked to online dating were on the rise.

Kerrin Bradfield, the education and engagement coordinator of the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence, said the campaign was a positive step towards raising the standard of online safety.

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"The messaging that's been developed is really sex positive, it's really proactive," she said.

Online daters are advised to let friends know where they are going before their date, and to meet in public spaces.

People are also advised to screenshot profiles of people they are speaking with prior to meeting and to ensure they have a safe way of getting home.

"Even if they follow all these strategies, it's still not their fault if an assault happens, they can reach out for support and report to police," Ms Bradfield said.

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Buddy Loomis, a spokesperson for Tinder said the company acknowledged and was actively preventing sexual assault through it's platform. © Nine Buddy Loomis, a spokesperson for Tinder said the company acknowledged and was actively preventing sexual assault through it's platform.

Buddy Loomis, a spokesperson for Match Group, the owners of Tinder said the campaign was another step in protecting users as the popularity of online dating grows.

"This is a milestone for Tinder and an important step to raising the standard."

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