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Night time safety measure helps to keep resident safe

Wiltshire Council and its partners are emphasising the importance of night time safety and the measures in place to provide people with help and reassurance should they need it.

Published 1 March 2023
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After a member of the public entered a Trowbridge establishment to 'Ask for Angela', Wiltshire Council and its partners are emphasising the importance of night time safety and the measures in place to provide people with help and reassurance should they need it.

The safety initiative 'Ask for Angela' is used in bars, clubs and other licensed businesses and aims to reduce sexual violence, whereby people who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking them for 'Angela'. The phrase will indicate to staff that they require help in their situation and a trained staff member will assist them to safety. Any premises that has signed up for the scheme will display a poster, normally in the toilets.

The phrase was recently successfully used in Trowbridge when a male customer used it to get the attention of staff members. Staff immediately understood that the gentleman was asking for assistance and kept the man safe until the police arrived to deal with the situation.

Bars, restaurants, cinemas, and other night-time venues are also being encouraged to sign up to the Safety at Night Charter, developed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon in partnership with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council.

By voluntarily signing the charter, businesses are agreeing to proactively tackle the issue of safety within the night-time economy by taking on pledges, including taking responsibility for calling out disrespectful or harmful behaviour, appointing a champion for night-time safety, using initiatives such as 'Ask for Angela' and creating an environment to enable staff and public to report incidents.

Wiltshire businesses already signed up to the Safety at Night Charter include:

  • Brown Street - Salisbury
  • Salisbury Pride UK - Salisbury
  • Prestbury Sports Bar - Warminster
  • CrossFit Civitas Gym - Melksham
  • The Muck and Dunder rum bar cafe - Devizes
  • The Rising Sun - Trowbridge
  • The Harp and Crown, Corsham - Wiltshire
  • B-Fit, Outdoor Fitness - Tidworth
  • The Flemish Weaver - Corsham
  • Safer and Supportive Salisbury Community Group and Charity

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said: The safety of our residents is a key priority for us, and we want people to feel comfortable when visiting our night-time venues.

We have been working with our partners in the OPCC and the Police to encourage businesses to sign up for initiatives such as the Safety at Night charter or asking them to display the Ask for Angela posters. This will help to reassure those working or enjoying a night out that they are in a safe environment with support available should it be required. We've now seen Ask for Angela work effectively in Wiltshire, and I hope this brings some comfort to residents that should they need it, help is available quickly.

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson, said, The launch of our Safety at Night Charter is a positive affirmation that my office, and our partners, are committed to delivering safer nights for all across Wiltshire and Swindon. And I want to thank all the venues and organisations that are working with us by pledging to help us create safer nights out for everyone in Wiltshire and Swindon.

By going to a venue or using a service that is participating in the Safety at Night Charter you'll know that you are in a safe environment with fully-trained staff who take the responsibility of their customers seriously, with fully operational CCTV and other safety initiatives.

I am committed to providing a better service that meets the needs of the community to ensure these safety standards are met, which is one of the priorities set out in my Police and Crime Plan to make Wiltshire safer for those who live, work and visit here.

People can find out more about 'Ask for Angela' by going to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/1113/Ask-for-Angela

People can find out more about the Safety at Night charter at Safer Nights (wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk) (opens new window).

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