Security firm offers Schoolies first date chaperones
A PRIVATE security firm to Nicole Kidman and ex-Prime Minister John Howard is offering to chaperone single women and Schoolies on first dates as a safety measure.
Protectcorp, headquartered in Burleigh, is charging $50 an hour for the new service to those meeting someone off Tinder or other online dating sites.
It also hopes to reassure parents looking for an extra layer of safety for their teenagers on the Gold Coast for Schoolies later this month.
Gold Coast-based Protectcorp general manager Nick Buenen said he had seen a growing demand for the discrete service, which he says will see clients followed at a distance by a security guard.
"We don't stick out, it is our job to blend in, dress the part so the presence isn't known unless we have to step in," Mr Buenen said. "It's someone who can be in the background but make sure you get to transport or home safe."
"The idea is to give parents a peace of mind to know there is an eye on their kids.
"We are there to keep the integrity of the night and ensure kids return home safely."
Mr Buenen said the idea for the service was first raised by women who attended self defence classes with the firm.
"A broad cross section of women were talking about on-hand security, someone who can chaperone you.
"There are stories out there where things have gone wrong. If we can support anyone, man or women to be confident and empowered to be yourself and have a good night out that is what we want to do," he said.
The promotion comes after a furore when Schoolies.com, which organises accommodation packages, encouraged graduating teens to get social on Tinder.
Schoolies.com ditched its Tinder sponsorship deal last week after parental backlash.
Tracey Korman, professional Gold Coast matchmaker and director of Two's Company said the idea of bringing a security guard to a date may not send out the warmest impression.
"I don't think showing up with a burly man at your shoulder would have a positive effect on the date, however with online dating these days it sort of getting to that point.
"You really have to start thinking about what you are doing, where you are going - but if it wasn't known you have security with you I think it would be OK."
The Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response said it "has had no dealings with this commercial enterprise and, as such, it would be inappropriate for us to comment".
Schoolies kicks off for Queensland graduates from November 16, followed by NSW and Victoria teens.
Protectcorp, with 600 staff nationally, has looked after movie stars including Kidman, globetrotting politicians and done security work across Australia and Papua New Guinea.