Age Of Consent

Beware Of Underage Online Hookups Warns U.K.’s National Crime Agency


Is it time to start checking ID at the door for your online hookups? The U.K.’s National Crime Agency seems to think so.

In a conversation with the ‘mos over at Gay Star News, a spokesman with the NCA urged gay men to ensure that their partners are over age 18 due to a sharp increase in the number of underage teens contacting U.K. helplines reporting bad experiences with partners met on mobile dating apps.

The key thing is, we recognize people will use these sites to explore their sexuality. But if you’re feeling uncomfortable and questioning the age of someone else, don’t get involved. The responsibility always rests with the adult. If doesn’t matter if the adult is 19 or 90, the responsibility lies with them.

Hookup apps generally have a policy that requires users to be 18 or over, but such policies are easily subverted by curious younger teens. The situation could spell disaster for both an over-18 user that is fooled by a younger teenager or the teens themselves who may find themselves groomed and exploited by older men.

NCA education head Jonathan Baggaley further warns:

Contact from predatory offenders is not always obvious and children may not recognize that they are being sexually exploited. Adults should always be cautious and having sex with someone you believe is under the age of consent is illegal full stop. The child can never be blamed.

For their part, Grindr released a statement to Gay Star News stating that they have a team of moderators that ensure that their users adhere to the strict 18+ policy.

We guess this article came a bit too late for Mike Dozier, but let that story and this one be a reminder not to be risky with the law when it comes to your online shenanigans.

A hookup is just one night, but a sex offender conviction is forever.

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  • Tobi

    Umm… the age of consent is 16 here in the UK. ;)

  • KittyLitter

    @Tobi: But that’s still too old for “gift giving” Mike Dozer.
    Wasn’t it 18 for homo relations and 16 for hetero for a while though?

  • Tobi

    @KittyLitter: Yup, criminal offence, then legal at 21, dropped to 18, now 16. I guess if we wait long enough, it’ll become compulsory. :) It’s a total mish-mash throughout the European Union, ie. France is 15, Spain 13, etc.

  • KittyLitter

    @Tobi: Why on earth would you want it go any lower?! :|

  • Tobi

    @KittyLitter: I wouldn’t myself, but I do feel it’s faintly ridiculous that within the EU a 15 year old in Spain can legally have a one-night-stand or be in a “relationship” with a 14 year but if they walk across to the border into France the 15 year old can be arrested and charged as a child abuser, or a 16 year with a 15 year old in France is guilty of the same if they enter the UK etc. There’s been calls within the EU to standardise the age of consent at 15 which I figure is a sensible solution.

  • Kkilee

    I do see their logic with respect to the safety of children, but what are INNOCENT children doing on adult hookup sites? I do believe they have to fill in the form and upload their image ect. as a part of the process and then engage in chats with other members before actually hooking up in person, such ‘innocent’ children are truly something; should be running the country.

Comments are closed.