Coun­cil is urged to back Ask for An­gela

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@trin­i­tymir­ @jamie_lopez1

ACAMPAIGN against sex­ual vi­o­lence could be launched in South­port.

Cllr Sue McGuire, leader of the Lib Dem group in Sefton, has asked the coun­cil to back the Ask for An­gela cam­paign, which en­cour­ages bar staff to help out when some­one feels at risk dur­ing a date.

The is­sue was raised at Thurs­day’s full coun­cil meet­ing and its vi­a­bil­ity will now be in­ves­ti­gated.

The scheme was launched in Lincolnshire to fight against the risk of sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Un­der the scheme, any- one on a date who feels threat­ened or at risk should ap­proach the bar staff and ask, ‘Is An­gela in?’.

The staff would then know the per­son is in need of as­sis­tance and help to re­move them from the sit­u­a­tion and pos­si­bly ar­range for a taxi to take them away.

Ask for An­gela has also been adopted in Glouces­ter, in as­so­ci­a­tion with lo­cal bars and po­lice forces, and has even re­ceived the back­ing of ac­tor Ash­ton Kutcher who shared the scheme’s poster on Face­book.

Cllr McGuire said: “I think this is such a sim­ple idea that is rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive to in­tro­duce.

“More and more peo­ple are ar­rang­ing to meet strangers via on­line ap­pli­ca­tions with ev­ery­thing very much based on trust but per­sonal safety can­not al­ways be guar­an­teed.

“The “Ask for An­gela” cam­paign pro­vides a code word that bar staff un­der­stand and can re­act to so that peo­ple who feel un­safe can leave the premises.”

And she added: “I am pleased that the coun­cil has agreed to in­ves­ti­gate via the Neigh­bour­hoods and Part­ner­ships team with the coun­cil’s part­ner agency RASA.

“The coun­cil has also agreed to speak to the other lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas in Mersey­side to see whether they have im­ple­mented any­thing sim­i­lar.”

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