MORE than 60 crimes in Essex have had dating apps linked to them since 2018, figures show.

Data from Essex Police shows that around 20 crimes per year since 2018 have had dating apps mentioned in them.

A freedom of information request to the force asked it to provide the number of times apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr, Plenty of Fish, okCupid, eHarmony, and appeared in crime reports.

In 2018, there were 21 cases, nine of which mentioned Tinder and Plenty of Fish, and three mentioned Grindr.

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In 2019, this went up to 22, with eight crimes linking Plenty of Fish and six mentioning Tinder and Grindr, and two mentioning Match.

There was a dip in cases in 2020, with 18 crimes involving dating apps, with Tinder once again being the most common with eight cases, five from Grindr, three from Plenty of Fish, and one from Match and Bumble.

So far in 2021, two crimes have mentioned Plenty of Fish, bringing the grand total to 63 crimes mentioning dating apps.

The crimes associated with the cases mainly included violence without injury and sexual offences, with three investigations of rape.