8 December 2021
West Yorkshire organisations work together to improve night-time public safety
West Yorkshire Prepared, the Local Resilience Forum for West Yorkshire, is working with Yorkshire’s leading organisations and services to re-launch the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative – a campaign which aims to keep people safe while out in bars, pubs and restaurants – across the whole region.
All five West Yorkshire Local Authorities, together with West Yorkshire Police local policing teams, are working with night-time venues in the region to roll out the campaign, ensuring staff are fully trained and aware of what to do should someone ‘Ask for Angela’.
Leeds Council re-launched the initiative across the city earlier this month, with over 500 venues currently signed up to participate in the scheme. Bradford Council launched Ask for Angela last Thursday (25th November) coinciding with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale Councils are also currently working on plans with a view to launching in the very near future.
The idea of the campaign is to provide customers with a ‘safe word’ if they feel unsafe, threatened or vulnerable on a date or night out. Venue staff will be trained to know that when someone ‘Asks for Angela’ they are discreetly asking for help. The venue can then respond by helping the customer to leave the venue, reunite them with a friend, call a taxi, or call venue security and/or the police.
Kersten England CBE, Chief Executive of Bradford Council and co-Chair of West Yorkshire Prepared, said: “There have been many high-profile cases recently, highlighting the dangers facing people – particularly women – during nights out. Our partners across the region are working on a number of initiatives to improve public safety, and this is just one method that can be adopted widely, which will make a real difference in helping people feel safe and secure.”
Originally launched in 2016 by Lincolnshire County Council, the campaign has received backing from National Pubwatch – an organisation which supports UK licensed premises to achieve safe, secure and responsibly-led social drinking environments. ‘Ask for Angela’ has also recently been re-launched across London Boroughs by the Metropolitan Police.
West Yorkshire venues interested in being involved in the campaign should contact their Local Authority licencing teams for more information.