Ask for Angela, an initiative designed to help prevent and reduce sexual violence and vulnerability, is being rolled out across North Yorkshire.
The scheme, introduced in Lincolnshire in 2016, is aimed at helping people who are on a date or who have met someone at a licenced venue and feel unsafe. Ask for Angela helps those individuals get attention from bar staff, who will then assist in separating them from the person who is making them feel unsafe due to that person’s words or behaviour.
Anyone who feels uneasy or unsafe just needs to approach the bar or any member of staff and ask for ‘Angela’ and the staff member will know to assist this person by helping them to discreetly leave. This can be by calling for a taxi/friend/family to pick them up or helping them to leave safely without the person who has made them feel unsafe being aware.
The scheme is to be introduced across North Yorkshire over the next few weeks, with the assistance of Pubwatch and the eight licensing authorities across the county, who have all been keen to play a part and support the scheme.
Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said:
“Ask for Angela is a really important initiative to ensure that support is provided to anyone who finds themselves feeling uneasy in certain situations.
“Dating has changed as a result of the wide use of dating sites and social media apps, so it is crucial that anyone who feels intimidated or unsafe because of the actions of the person they are with, can access help quickly and discreetly.
“Often, people on dates in pubs or other licensed premises are meeting people for the very first time face to face, and this can leave people feeling very vulnerable, or worse, at threat from harm.
“I encourage anyone who intends to meet someone for the first time to meet in busy, crowded places, tell a friend or family member where you are going and do not disclose too much personal information with anyone which could threaten your safety – such as your home address.
“If you do find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe then speak to a member of staff at the venue and ask for Angela at your earliest opportunity.”
If an offence has taken place then please report this to police on 101. Always dial 999 if there is immediate danger.