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Whilst these guidelines are written specifically for our members, we really want to make everyone - whether they are our members or not - aware of this advice. Our aim is not to scare - nor to put anyone off dating - we just want people to take care out there!
Meeting others through internet dating, in particular this site, uniformdating.com is one of the safest ways to meet and get to know people. Members are never required to give details that they do not wish to give and all communications are safe and secure going through the site admin system. This means that your email address is never displayed or given out by uniformdating.com - or any other personal details other than your first name and the town you live in.
We have complied this listing using not only our own experiences, but also using some key experts in this field, including the Metropolitan police. It is intended to form the basis of staying safe - most of it is common sense - and hopefully will lead to many happy and successful dates! Good luck!
Never fake your photograph as it will always catch up with you and may make a prospective partner angry having wasted their time. The same applies to your profile, if you think you are 'cuddly' rather than 'medium' then say so. If you are interested in a serious relationship tell the truth.
Part of the enjoyment of on-line dating can be flirting with the other party. You should not be afraid to do this, as it is anonymous if you want it to be. Equally remember not to go too far by communicating in a way not generally expected on a site of this nature. Be comfortable with what you are saying and do not promise something you are uncomfortable with or not capable of eventually delivering when meeting.
You should avoid at all cost giving your telephone number, home address or place of work to a stranger, no matter how nice they seem to be. If you telephone them, withhold your number from their caller ID.
There are people out there who unfortunately are not always honest, and you should be aware of these people. Look for inconsistencies in their stories and lifestyle when corresponding and talking. Look for inconsistencies in the information they give you about their appearance, age, status and other matters. People who tell lies generally catch themselves out!
The First Date - Preparation
So, you've had some fun online - now you want to meet up - what should you do in preparation of your first date?
- Never let a date pick you up from your home address.
- Never let them make arrangements for your accommodation if it is required.
- When you first meet make sure that it is a very public place and let someone know where you are going and the name of the person you are meeting. Even arrange to call or text that person once you are there and maybe again during the course of the date.
- Giving a rough time when you intend to return is also worthwhile and recommended.
- Arranging to go out as part of a group is a good idea; you then have your friends around you.
- Never accept a lift home if you are not 100% comfortable with it.
- Take a mobile phone with you that is serviceable and have a person to call to come and pick you up if necessary.
- It is not a race. Take your time to get to know someone and if they are truly interested in you they will agree it is for the best. Don't be forced into something you might regret.
The Actual Date
This is where we hand over to Jacqui Hames (Crimewatch UK Presenter) and her presenter friend Fiona Bruce, using extracts from their book "Savvy"
"We don't want to be killjoys but even if things are going really well with the man you've only just met, you need to keep your wits about you. Nine times out of ten, he is putting his arm around you because he fancies you, not because he wants to slip your mobile out of your pocket. But keep your wits about you.
Don't get drunk. That is so BORING, we hear you cry. Ok, ok. We're not saying don't have a drink, we're not even saying don't get a bit squiffy if that helps oil the wheels of romance. But don't get paralytic - first rule of successful and safe dating. Your common sense will disappear along with any instinct for self preservation. And if he does invite you in for coffee, you'll probably just fall asleep face down on his living room floor and start snoring. Attractive.
Think about what information you're giving them. You know next to nothing about him, so what do you want him to know about you? Do you want him to know where you live? If things go pearshaped later on, you might be very grateful that he doesn't know where to find you.
Don't leave your bag with him while you go to the loo. You wouldn't do that with anyone else you hardly knew, would you?
Watch your drink. There's little hard and fast evidence about date rape drugs but you should be careful about leaving your drink with someone you don't know or trust. It's easy for someone to slip a substance into your drink and you may know nothing about it until you come to hours later.
Leaving with them. We might as well fess up now, we cannot pretend that we have abided by all the rules we are setting down here. But we are older and wiser now so learn from our mistakes. If you spend a couple of hours getting to know someone in a pub or a bar, you're getting on really well, things are looking promising and he then suggests you leave your friends behind to go off to a club with him, what do you do? Before you set off, ask yourself if you trust this man. What kind of feeling do you have about him? Follow your instinct (which is why it helps not to drink too much) and if you're at all unsure, suggest an alternative which doesn't involve you going off alone with him. If you're with friends, they can look out for you, once you leave them behind; you're on your own."
Advice From The Police
In similar vain, the Met police have issued some very specific guidelines. Operation Sapphire specialises in investigating sexual assault cases and providing victims with the support and care they need. Taken directly from their website, the following info may be very useful.
- Plan your journey or night out.
- Make sure that someone knows where you are going and what time you will be home.
- Arrange your journey to and from home.
- When going to a pub, club or party avoid going alone. Friends can watch out for each other.
- Appoint a nominated drinks-watcher.
- Remember, alcohol does affect your actions and your reactions as well as your ability to be alert.
- Stay aware of what is going on around you and away from situations that you do not feel comfortable with.
- Never accept a drink from anyone you do not completely trust.
- Do not share or exchange drinks.
- Don't leave your drink unattended, even when going to the toilet.
- Consider very carefully whether you should leave the pub, club or party with someone you have just met.
- If you begin to feel really drunk after only a drink or two seek help from a trusted friend or a member of the club or pub management. It is important to get to a place of safety as soon as possible.
- You must be sure you have absolute trust in the person you seek help from no matter how long you have known them.
Don't use unlicensed mini-cabs. There have been many instances of sexual assualts by the drivers of these vehicles.
Crime prevention advice
- Always try to pre book a car through a licensed minicab office.
- Ensure the car you ordered is the one you get into.
- Know the car details and ensure the driver knows what name it was booked under.
- Sit in the rear of the vehicle and carry a mobile phone or shriek alarm.
Stay safe from scammers
Sadly, just like in your local pub or on other dating sites, you may come across someone on Uniform Dating who is dishonest. If you are very unlucky, you may get contacted by a romance scammer. They come across as friendly and pretend to be interested in you, but really all they want is your money.
We take scammers operating on our site extremely seriously. So much so that every day we have a team who track down scammer accounts and removes them. Even so, from time to time we may not be able to track them down before they have contacted, so here's how you can spot a scammer.
Scammers will often pose as a US soldier and will provide you with contact details very quickly. For this reason we advise all of our members to keep communications within the site for as long as possible and not share personal details until you are sure that the person is genuine (and maybe even meet them over web cam in our secure and private chat area just to be sure).
Scammers will normally provide you with a story about a loved one who is ill and need help paying the bills. Often they will state that they are working abroad and need money to come visit you. Any story like this is a big sign that the person you are talking to is a romance scammer. Never hand over any money and double check everything you have been told.
If you think you may be in contact with a scammer or would like help identifying if a certain person is genuine or not, then contact our support team on (01737) 648 434 or email@example.com. The chances are we'll detect them eventually, but you can help us to protect others by reporting any suspicious members.
Another way to report a scammer is by clicking the report button on a members profile page (this can be found at the bottom of each profile). Simply click this and you'll notify us of the suspicious member. Our team will then investigate the account and take immediate action.
Remember, be safe and never give out your contact details until you really know who are speaking to. Most importantly, never give someone money - no matter how genuine they sound. If you're unsure about a certain member then contact us straight away and we'll investigate the account for you.