Suffolk Constabulary will be supporting an innovative campaign which helps enable those who feel vulnerable on a night out discreetly ask pub and club staff for help.
The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing revellers with a discreet phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff should they find themselves in a worrying or intimidating situation.
The initiative, which was originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council in 2016, has already gained support across the country with a number of other forces, partner organisations and councils backing the campaign.
It is hoped that by ‘asking for Angela’, a person within a club or bar can quickly alert staff and gain their help. Staff will then take the customer to one side and find out more regarding the type of support they need.
As part of the initiative, options available to staff include offering to call a taxi in order to get them home safely, trying to contact friends or family, or as a final resort, asking the individual who may be causing distress to leave the venue immediately.
Staff and officers from Suffolk Constabulary met with security door staff and bar and club representatives at Unit 17 in Cardinal Park, Ipswich, last Thursday (30 November 2017) to launch the campaign.
On the evening, which ran from 7pm and 9pm, various representatives from the community joined the launch when training was provided for door supervisors by Suffolk Constabulary and a presentation on the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative was rolled out.
Staff and officers from Suffolk Constabulary distributed the posters advertising the initiative to venues across the county where they will be placed discreetly in toilets of bars and clubs set to take part in the scheme.
Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “With Christmas and the party season almost upon us, it seems more important than ever to back this innovative campaign and introduce it in venues in Suffolk as it a simple yet effective initiative that allows those who may find themselves in a vulnerable situation with an easy and quick way to gain help.
“It will now mean the person ‘asking for Angela’ can leave and get away safely without causing embarrassment or confrontation. However should a more serious incident arise, then bar staff can contact police to help them deal with the matter.
“We want people to enjoy themselves on a night out but we want to remind everyone that should any issues arise that they can now ‘Ask for Angela’ at the bar or by way of conversation with a door supervisor or member of staff at participating venues.”
Suffolk Police Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Anything aimed at keeping people safe has my full support. This is a very imaginative campaign and if it helps protect just one vulnerable person over the Christmas period it will be a success in my book.
“As we head towards the party season I would urge everyone to think about their personal safety and the safety of their friends during festive celebrations this year.
“Asking for Angela is a simple way to flag to others that you feel vulnerable without having to go into detail, it’s a great idea and one that I hope partygoers and staff in bars and clubs will embrace.”
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Police Connect Team