Calls for people with violent criminal history to be banned from dating apps
There are calls for criminals to be banned from dating apps after Sydney teacher Danielle Finlay-Jones was allegedly murdered by a man she met online.
Ashley Gaddie, 33, is accused of killing Finlay-Jones in a western Sydney home at the weekend and will remain behind bars for at least the next two months.
Domestic violence experts are calling for change while political leaders say there needs to be law reform to “protect women”.
Hayley Foster, CEO of domestic violence organisation Full Stop Australia, said she wanted people’s identities to be checked and security screenings done by dating apps so users could be sure they weren’t talking to a serial offender.
“We could do that through regulation federally or we could do that by calling on dating app providers to take the lead and actually do this themselves,” Foster said.
“They really just need to use the same software that everyone else does when they check someone has ID to make sure that we can track people if there are issues.”
Foster said the onus shouldn’t be on other dating app users to protect themselves.
“When you are going on a dating app you are putting yourself in a vulnerable situation, but we all want to meet someone.
“We already have a sex offender register in this country and that makes it really easy to do those checks to make sure we are not putting children in particular in harm’s way in vulnerable environments, but we also need to do that for domestic and family violence.”
Dating app Tinder confirmed Finlay-Jones and Gaddie had did not meet on that specific platform.
“We are working with local law enforcement to provide any information to them that will be helpful for their investigation,” a Tinder spokesperson said.
“Tinder approaches all concerning reports relative to member safety with the utmost urgency and we take appropriate actions toward bad behaviour by removing and blocking accounts across our platform.”
NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns said he supported in principal banning individuals subject to AVOs from dating apps.
“We have to do everything we can to get criminals and thugs off dating apps,” Minns said.
Nationals leader David Littleproud called for an overhaul of laws to protect women.
Finlay-Jones’ friend Tina asked for her to be remembered as “more than just a victim” and said you could not control how people met.
“The emphasis should be back on police to protect the community and women and children in DV,” Tina said.
“I really don’t want Danielle to be remembered as just a victim… she was so much more than that.”