People whose internet date turns out to be a disaster and they wind up feeling under threat will be able to escape and get help by using a special safe-word – Angela.
The national “Ask for Angela” campaign will come to Plymouth’s pubs and clubs this Christmas with 135 bars in the city’s Pubwatch and Best Bar None schemes already being told they can go live with the project.
The national scheme was created as internet dating has increased the risk of vulnerable people hooking up with someone who may not be all they professed to be online.
The Ask for Angela campaign is designed to help vulnerable people on a night out. It encourages anyone in difficulty or under threat to approach bar staff and simply “ask for Angela”. Staff are trained to recognise the code-word and take action.
They will take the vulnerable person to a place of safety – possibly even a “safe room” – or arrange for them to be transported home.
The Ask for Angela scheme, which has a name coming from the term “guardian angel”, is being brought in following concerns women, particularly female students, can be put in a vulnerable position on a night out.
This has been heightened since the advent of internet dating, which has led to women sometimes ending up with a man whose intentions may not be honourable.
But the scheme also encompasses vulnerable men and members of the LGBT community.
Crime busters… Ian Warmington of Parc, Pubwatch chairman Richard Smith, Pete Chevin, Pubwatch vice chairman, and Plymouth’s nighttime economy manager Mick Connor
Richard Smith, chairman of Plymouth Pubwatch, said: “Ask for Angela will be going live from our venues from today.
“That’s Plymouth wide, 135 venues, including Torpoint”.
“We will have posters in toilets and train our staff.”
Mr Smith, also South West regional representative for National Pubwatch added: “It’s a national campaign to protect a person, male or female, if they need help to get away safely.
Story and photograph courtesy of Plymouth Herald www.plymouthherald.co.uk
NPW Editor: Plymouth Pubwatch were finalists in the 2017 Diageo National Pubwatch Awards