‘Ask for Angela’ launched in Welwyn Hatfield to tackle sexual offences

PUBLISHED: 18:56 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:56 18 December 2017

(L-R) Vince Lampey, Licensing Officer, Hertsmere; Helena Heslin, Manager of The Two Willows; James Moatt, Community Safety Investigator for Herts Police, Community Safety Sergeant Ricki Vaughan, Herts Police. Picture credit: Herts Police

(L-R) Vince Lampey, Licensing Officer, Hertsmere; Helena Heslin, Manager of The Two Willows; James Moatt, Community Safety Investigator for Herts Police, Community Safety Sergeant Ricki Vaughan, Herts Police. Picture credit: Herts Police

Archant

A scheme designed to stop sexual offences taking place in social venues has been unveiled in Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere.

‘Ask for Angela’ was launched last Friday at The Two Willows in Welwyn Garden City, with representatives from the areas’ Community Safety teams in attendance.

Anyone meeting someone for the first time in a social venue that finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation can ask staff to speak to ‘Angela’ – a code phrase asking to help the person leave discreetly.

The aim is to avoid an uncomfortable situation developing into a sexual offence later on.

Community Safety Sergeant Ricki Vaughan said: “We are really pleased the ‘Ask Angela’ scheme has now arrived in Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere.

“The benefits of the scheme are twofold. It gives people who are meeting someone for the first time in a pub or bar – such as on a first date – the confidence to ask for help from venue staff if they feel unsafe.

“Maybe the person isn’t who they said they were on the dating website where they met or are making them feel uncomfortable.

“And for the venues, it provides an opportunity to discuss with their staff how to respond to people who ask for help or who might be vulnerable because, for example, they have drunk too much.”

Helena Heslin, manager of The Two Willows, said: “We are delighted to be launching the scheme at The Two Willows and hope that people who might come to our venue on a first date will feel safer because of it.”

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