Violent men could be kept off dating sites

Men with a record of domestic violence would be prevented from using the internet to meet unsuspecting women under plans being considered by the Home Secretary, Theresa May. The Home Office said yesterday that the Police National Database could be used to keep watch on contacts made by men with violent pasts.

The announcement is in response to a campaign led by the former Labour cabinet secretary, Hazel Blears, after the murder of Clare Wood, 36, in Salford, Lancashire, in 2009. Ms Wood met her killer, George Appleton, through Facebook. He had used a series of aliases on dating websites and had a long history of sexual violence.

Ms Blears wants women who date strangers through the internet to have the right to check with the police whether the men they are meeting have criminal records.