North East Connected

Dating app founder awarded accolade for making North East a safer place

Safer Date, the first and only dating app in the world to require ID checks and criminal background checks for every sign-up, has been recognised by the Regional Economic Crime Coordination Centre (RECCC) at Northumbria Police.

Elaine Parker, North East Founder and CEO of Safer Date established the company in an effort to revolutionise the dating industry, making it safer by protecting people from online predators.

Elaine’s work in tackling anonymity and fake profiles online has now been recognised by the Regional Economic Crime Coordination Centre (RECCC) at NERSOU who presented Elaine with a certificate of RECCC-ognition for playing a part in keeping the North East safe from the threat of Economic Crime.

Founded in 2020, Safer Date was established by Elaine following a traumatic personal experience at the hands of a man she met online. She said: “After researching the legal standards of the dating industry, I shockingly found that there were none. It’s disturbing just how fast these sites have become a haven for emboldening fraudsters and criminals, including sex offenders, to manipulate anonymity for their own personal gain.

“Safer Date is currently the only dating app to carry out ID checks, global criminal background checks, insolvency checks, and addicts register checks on every applicant, regardless of gender.”

The app comes with a range of elements that guarantees transparency for users. In addition to thorough background checks, Safer Date prevents users from being bombarded with messages by only allowing one request to be sent to anyone that they have not yet matched with, and also tackles the problem of ghosting with a unique graceful goodbye feature.

Paddy O’Keefe, Detective Sergeant at the RECCC, said: “Economic crime poses a huge risk to the UK and our communities; the scale of the threat means it is one that cannot be tackled solely through arrests and investigations by law enforcement. As a result, our approach is broader working to Protect the public by raising awareness of the threats and the steps they can take to keep safe. Whilst recognising the work of partners in all sectors who can drive systems and processes which safeguard the financial welling of their customers”.

“Those who date online can be targeted by criminals who purport to be someone they are not. Therefore, we recognise the fantastic efforts Elaine has made through Safer Date to increase transparency for people communicating on her site and provide processes of verification for the users.  This goes hand in hand with our principles of reducing risk of economic crime in the North East and making it a safer place to work and live.

In partnership with our constituent forces Cleveland Police, Durham Constabulary and Northumbria Police, the RECCC acts as a nexus for the regional response to Economic crime. Within the team are dedicated officers driving initiatives throughout the North East with a focus on three methods; protect, prepare, and prevent.

‘Protect’ aims to stop people from becoming victims of crime by raising awareness of the threats and the measures they can take to reduce vulnerability to risks. ‘Prepare’ seeks to mitigate the impact of crimes when they do occur, stopping the harm at the earliest opportunity. Finally, ‘prevent’ focuses on stopping people from becoming involved in crime or diverting them from a criminal path.

O’Keefe continues: “Whether it be individuals, businesses, networks, or communities, talking about these threats help us all understand them better and in turn communicate what needs to be done to keep us safe.”

Those working to protect people from economic crime are encouraged to contact the RECCC to share their stories to learn more, build momentum for change, and unite to create a safer North East to live, work, and invest in. Email:

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