At least two women a month are reporting sexual assaults by men they met through dating websites and smartphone apps, police say.
Police confirmed this morning they are investigating the alleged rape of two Auckland women by men they met on the online dating app Tinder. And Canterbury police say that anecdotally, they deal with about two such complaints per month.
The reports come after it emerged a 28-year-old Kiwi was allegedly gang-raped by a man she met through Tinder while on a visit to Sydney at the weekend.
Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney, the Canterbury sexual assault team manager, said social networking had become "a live issue" for police who who were in constant contact with social media providers to exchange information and outline police concerns.
Men could trawl through a large number of women's profiles a day, he said. In at least two cases, police had asked online dating websites to remove the profiles of potential predators.
"You have got to have a great deal of caution with social networking, the risks are you are don't really know who you're dealing with and relationships can establish a lot faster," Sweeney said.
Waitemata Police, meanwhile, are investigating two separate incidents connected with Tinder, according to the head of Auckland's adult sexual assault team, Detective Sergeant James Watson. Two North Shore women were allegedly raped after meeting men on Tinder, Watson said. He was not able to give any further details.
The Tinder app uses GPS technology and gathers basic information to match people who are likely to be compatible in the same geographical area.