NSW Police have today launched a new safety campaign which encourages women to “Ask for Angela” if they feel unsafe on a date.
The discreet codeword originated two years ago in Lincolnshire, England and urges women feeling uncomfortable or intimidated to approach bar staff and ask if Angela is working.
Police say the trained staff member will then recognise the codeword and discreetly escort that person to safety or contact authorities for further assistance.
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The program comes following an increase in sexual violence and the recent rise in popularity of online dating apps.
“Given the increasing popularity of online dating apps, many people are meeting for dates at bars, clubs and pubs having never met, beyond the screens of their phone or computer,” Minister for Police, Troy Grant said.
“We don’t want people feeling intimidated when they’re socialising in the city, they’re out to enjoy themselves, not feel threatened, and this initiative supports their safety.”
The concept is already being successfully trialled in Wagga, Albury, Orange and most recently Byron Bay, with the Sydney CBD trial formally kicking off this Saturday.
Central Metropolitan Region Police Commander, Mark Walton said the creative campaign is aimed at preventing sexual assaults in the city.
“We are determined to prevent sexual assaults and if this campaign allows us to remove people from harm’s way, then it’s well worth it,” he said.