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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

'Ask for Angela' scheme piloted in Merton is rolled out across London




A safety campaign trialled in Merton allowing people who feel vulnerable in pubs or bars, is now being rolled out across London today.

Anyone out who feels unsafe or threatened can get help by approaching bar staff with the discreet code “Asking for Angela.”

Police will train staff at venues around the Capital that sign up to the deal to immediately respond to the safety signal.

In Merton police say the scheme has raised awareness among bar staff and encouraged them to look out for potentially vulnerable customers.

Inspector Wayne Matthews, from the Central Licensing Team, said: “This is a simple yet effective scheme which empowers members of the public to seek help if they are feeling vulnerable, by allowing them to raise their concerns with staff.

It may be that they are in the company of someone who is not what they seemed and they want to get away safely and with minimum fuss.

This initiative will facilitate this and hopefully prevent situations from escalating into something more serious. Of course where scenarios do develop we know bar staff will contact police to attend the scene and deal in the usual manner.”

Already the pilot in Merton has raised awareness amongst bar staff and encouraged them to look out for potentially vulnerable customers. In turn customers have been reassured that staff are open to offering discreet assistance.

Since the initiative was implemented, there have been incidents on the borough which could have escalated without the intervention of bar staff.

Security staff at a Wimbledon nightclub noticed two men plying a lone female with drinks, whilst they remained sober.

Believing their intentions to be dishonourable, staff called police. The males were removed from the club. Officers then gave the lone female a lift home to ensure her safety.

Similarly, there was an incident in a bar in Wimbledon whereby a male was “harassing” two females at the bar.

One of them looked towards security staff and asked for help.

Staff immediately intervened and the male became violent.

He was removed from the premises and police were called, with him subsequently arrested for affray. In their statements to police, both females expressed their appreciation in being taken seriously when asking for help.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 9:15 am  

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