Saturday 20 April 2024
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Ask for Angela: Scheme to keep people safe when dating launched in Nottinghamshire

A campaign helping keep women and men safe in pubs and bars has been relaunched across the county.

Ask for Angela is a scheme used across the world and means anyone on a date which isn’t going as planned or is feeling unsafe and in danger can use the codeword to ask for help.

The scheme was created back in 2016 by Inspector Hayley Crawford when she worked for Lincolnshire County Council as part of a wider project to decrease sexual violence and abuse.

The scheme is already well known and used all over the country which means anyone feeling unsafe can head to the bar and discreetly ask for Angela – causing the bar staff to get them to safety.

This could mean reuniting them with a friend, calling a taxi, or calling venue security and/or the police.

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“Relaunching Ask for Angela and seeing it in so many bars and venues across Nottinghamshire is amazing and to know that it may help just one person get out of a bad date or situation is great,” Inspector Crawford said.

“I created Angela after hearing about people meeting on dating apps and realised there was nothing in place as a quick get out card if a date wasn’t going as planned.

“The scheme has been running for over eight years now and to see it being used all over the world and getting to relaunch it and help protect people is really special for me.

“Dating apps are being used more than ever nowadays but we want people going out on dates to remember there is support available.

“I want anyone on a night out or on a date – no matter your gender – to know that Angela is there, and the bar and venue staff will help you get out of that unsafe situation.

“Never be afraid to ask for help to get out of a bad situation or a bad date. I hope you never have to use the scheme but want you to remember it’s there if ever you need it.”

Shelly Hemsley, Sales and Events Manager at Cosy Club Nottingham, said:

“For venues, I think it’s really important that we have Ask for Angela in place because it helps our customers feel safe and they know it’s a safe area. 

“At Cosy Club all of our staff are trained and for us, the most important thing is that they’re discreet, so if someone does come to the bar and use the codeword then our staff will very discreetly listen to what their issue is, take a quick risk assessment, and then do what they need to whether that’s taking them to a safe space, speaking to a manager and then getting them to a safe place. 

“It’s essential that we have schemes like this that make sure that people are safe whatever their gender or relationship is and however they’re coming out into the nighttime economy – schemes like this mean our customers are safe.”

Alex Flint, CEO, It’s in Nottingham, said:

“The It’s in Nottingham team are proud to work with Nottinghamshire Police and city centre venues in the night-time economy to support the Ask for Angela scheme.

“Widespread adoption of Best Bar None, the Safe Space Pledge and the Ask for Angela and Ask for Clive schemes will ensure a great night out for residents and leisure visitors, and help us retain the Purple Flag accreditation for Nottingham, as a safe city to spend time in.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said:

“Tackling Violence against women and girls is incredibly important to me, it’s a national issue but here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire we’re working together to do something about it.

“The Ask for Angela campaign has now been for going eight years and I’m really pleased to hear that it is now being rolled out around the entire city and county so that wherever you are in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, if you feel uncomfortable you can Ask for Angela.”

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