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A scheme to improve nightlife safety is extending across London

Hundreds of hospitality staff across the capital have received Ask for Angela training

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

As London’s nightlife has now fully reopened, a scheme to improve safety is extending across the capital, in a hope that the new normal will become a safer normal for everyone hitting the pubs and clubs.

The Ask for Angela initiative encourages people who feel uncomfortable, vulnerable or under threat on a night out to use a code word – ‘Angela’ – to discreetly alert venue employees without putting themselves at risk. The word allows trained staff members to assist the person out of that situation by whatever means necessary: by helping them into a taxi, calling the police or simply finding a friend. Posters and other media will be displayed in toilets and on premises to make customers familiar with the scheme.

Ask for Angela was first adopted by the Metropolitan Police back in 2016 in an effort to reduce violence, crime and sexual harassment on nights out. The reinvigoration of the campaign has been initiated by Sadiq Khan, along with the Met and Safer Sounds, which is a partnership across the events and music industry. 

To implement the scheme, hospitality staff in supporting venues will receive special Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) training (basically, nightlife safety) by the Met’s licensing officers and Safer Sounds. The idea is that venues will be more prepared to help people in compromising situations, with the Met acting as support. 

Speaking about the initiative, Jane Connors, deputy assistant commissioner for the Met, told the Press Association:

‘As clubs reopen now, there have been over 350 venues that have had the training and about 500 to 600 staff which is a really positive step’.

The roll-out comes after data released by the Office for National Statistics on August 24 revealed that almost half (49 percent) of women reported feeling unsafe when walking alone at night in a busy public place, compared to one in five men (19 percent).  

Also working to reduce sexual violence and harassment in the capital is the Women’s Night Safety Charter, which encourages organisations to sign up to safety pledges, and the Good Night Out campaign, which helped Fabric to create the first nightclub anti-sexual harassment policy.

Ask for Angela will be rolled out across London over the next few weeks. Venues can request materials here

You can find out more about Ask for Angela here. If you have experienced sexual violence and want to seek help, you can talk to Rape Crisis England and Wales on 0808 802 9999.  

Sadiq Khan plans to house Afghan refugees in London council homes.

Here’s our round-up of London’s best nightclubs.

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