A police campaign aimed at helping people who feel unsafe on dates has been extended to cover the whole of the north-east.
After a successful launch in Aberdeen in March last year, Police Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland have announced the “Ask for Angela” initiative will be widened to Aberdeenshire and Moray.
The code-phrase campaign allows women and men who feel uncomfortable or unsafe in the company of others to discreetly alert staff by asking for “Angela”.
Once staff are aware there is a problem, they can follow a six-step guideline to help the person leave quietly, order a taxi and to offer appropriate support.
Laird and Lesley Parker, who own the Drouthy Laird pub and music venue in Inverurie, were keen to join forces with police to keep patrons safe, particularly over the festive period.
Laird said: “We experience a hike in how much people drink and incidents over Christmas.
“Some people may not drink throughout the year and then come out for work nights out and aren’t used to the environment.
“We are proactive in making sure the public are safe in our bar anyway, but we want to further reassure the public that if they are in trouble, we can help.”
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Police Scotland licensing constable Kevin Fyfe said feedback from patrons and staff of pubs and clubs in Aberdeen indicated that the campaign had been a success.
He said: “Following on from the success of this campaign last year, we wanted to extend the concept into Aberdeenshire and Moray and refresh it in the city. Posters will be provided to licensed premises throughout the north-east for display and part of the project will advise staff on how to quickly and discreetly deal with any ‘Ask for Angela’ request.
“Should anyone feel uncomfortable about a situation they are in and need support or assistance to leave, I would urge them to approach a member of staff and ‘Ask for Angela’.
“Public safety and protecting people from harm while within licensed premises is not only important to Police Scotland but also to the licensed venues themselves.
“We have strong links with the licensed trade, and working together on projects such as ‘Ask for Angela’ benefits everyone involved.”