‘Ask for Angela’ is a phrase that can be used at the participating premises by anyone feeling unsafe or threatened whilst on a date, and it lets someone know that they would like help.
The phrase would be recognised by staff and they would take action by helping that person to leave the venue discreetly and get home, or be taken to a place of safety.
Officers from West Oxfordshire District Council and Thames Valley Police visited the fifteen Witney establishments to promote the initiative; each agreed to join the campaign and will be displaying posters in their toilets.
One of the establishments is Norton’s café bar. Manager Jemma Shields said, “We’re very happy to join this scheme and, even if it only helps one person, it is well worth it.”
Cllr Norman MacRae MBE, Cabinet Member for community safety said, “It’s so important that people have a safety net if they feel uncomfortable, especially today when online dating is so popular and people often meet in public places for the first time.
“I’m delighted that fifteen places in Witney are joining the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign and our ambition is to implement the scheme across West Oxfordshire.”
The Ask for Angela initiative was originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council, but is now nationwide.