Police launch new safety campaign for women in East Lancashire
Police have teamed up with local businesses to deliver the Ask for Angela campaign; an initiative to give those in uncomfortable situations on dates, or who have been approached on a night out with friends and don't feel safe.
Originating from Lincolnshire, the name Angela was chosen as a play on the word ‘angel’ – a scheme which acts as a guardian for those in a potentially dangerous situation, particularly those at risk of sexual assault or rape.
The scheme has been rolled out across Burnley, with a view to extend it across the east of the county in bars and pubs in Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn, the Ribble Valley, Rossendale and across Pendle.
Ask for Angela encourages people to discreetly ask for help from a member of staff – a phrase which could help get them into a taxi home, or somewhere safe.
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The Burnley neighbourhood team have also secured local funding which went towards personal alarms and drink stoppers for those in the town centre this bank holiday weekend, and will be available from the town centre policing team on the night out.
Ask for Angela was launched as night-time economy begins to reinvigorate, with more partygoers in the town centre. With only a few weeks to go before the final planned stage of Unlock, Det. Insp Derry Crorken is keen to keep people safe, reminding friends to stay in groups and look out for one another:
“We’re looking forward to welcoming people back into Burnley and to see local business begin to thrive again, but it’s vital we continue to look out for one another; make sure you keep an eye on your friends, and report any suspicious behaviour to bar staff or police either in person, or via 101. Remember, if someone is in immediate danger it’s 999.
“We will continue to tackle sexual violence and abuse across Lancashire and take allegations of this nature incredibly seriously. Everyone should feel safe to walk the streets day or night free from fears of harassment, threats and violence. We hope that you don’t ever need to use it, but should you need to Ask for Angela, please do”