[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 2 August, 2004, 01:00 GMT 02:00 UK
Safe-dating system for singletons
Young couples looking very happy with themselves
The service will only be available to Viva-City members
The UK's singletons could soon be using a telephone service to log where, when and who they go on dates with.

The system, known as datesense, could help to prevent women disappearing or being attacked on blind dates.

Daters log their details and check-in afterwards. If they cannot be traced in 72 hours the police are notified.

Dating agency Viva-City.com developed the system after a survey suggested a third of women do not tell anyone where they are going on a first date.

More than 1,000 people were questioned in the survey and over half said they would consider going on a blind date.

Too many people go through life thinking 'it'll never happen to me'
Lizzie Lyell
Suzy Lamplugh Trust

But one-in-three women and 50% of men said they would not tell even their closest friends where they were going.

Most women said this is because they want to be independent, but many said they would feel embarrassed.

Viva-City consulted the Metropolitan Police and personal safety charity the Suzy Lamplugh Trust while establishing the service.

New risks

William McMullan, founder of Viva-City, said: "The safety of our registered users on a first date is something we take very seriously.

"We have developed datesense with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police and in addition we feature safety tips and advice on the site."

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust believes the rising popularity of internet dating and a willingness to meet with strangers brings new risks.

Lizzie Lyell, spokeswoman for the trust, warned that personal safety has to be a priority.

She said: "A lot of personal safety precautions are common sense, but sadly common sense is not always common practice, and too many people go through life thinking 'it'll never happen to me'.

"If you are going on a date with someone, especially if you have never met them before, then it is really important to think about the risks and what you can do to reduce them."

Datesense will be available to Viva-City members from Monday.

Tips to get online dates
14 May 04  |  Magazine
Love at the click of a mouse
09 Feb 04  |  Northern Ireland
Police join with dating agencies
23 Jan 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset
Dating agency for lonely farmers
29 Jul 03  |  Lincolnshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific