Dublin Senator Catherine Noone has called for the courts to ban convicted sex offenders for life from using apps that will put them in contact with unsuspecting members of the public.
Senator Noone, a Fine Gael candidate for Dublin Bay North in the next General Election, said: “Under my previous proposals to amend the Sex Offenders Bill, Judges would be able to ban convicted sex offenders from using online dating apps.
“It is common sense to restrict these predators from access to dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble or Grindr and service apps such as those for taxis or food delivery, if convicted of a sexual assault.
“There was an incident recently of a predator using a popular taxi app to pick up fares while his case adjourned to allow for the preparation of a psychological report.
“We need to deal with this issue, given the gravity of these crimes. These apps provide direct access for predators, allowing vulnerable people to be abused.
“Under the Sex Offenders Act, 2001, a judge has the power to prohibit a person who is subject to a sex offender order from doing anything in order to protect the public from serious harm.
Senator Noone added: “We have seen cases where these apps have been used to facilitate heinous crimes. This cannot be allowed to be repeated in the future.
“People should always take precautions on dating apps but they should also expect some level of security vetting when using these apps. By introducing measures that will ban individuals convicted of a sexual crime, we can begin to provide this level of security.
“I think at a minimum, sex offenders need to be banned from using the internet or dating apps to make direct contact with anyone for life.
“We cannot eradicate these types of crimes, but we can limit their likelihood through forward thinking legislation that responds to the needs of modern society and protects the public,” the Fine Gael Senator said.