Any pub sporting an ‘Ask for Angela’ poster means anyone in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation can get discreet help to leave if they ask for ‘Angela’ at the bar.
The scheme, which begun in 2017, has resurged following the murder of Sarah Everard, and is supported by the Metropolitan Police and NPW in a push to increase public safety.
Baker said: “It's a good, public-facing way of showing the venue is working to support them, and that they should have an enjoyable and safe evening when they go into the venue.
The chairman said it was “probably one of the best” campaigns he had seen. He said: “The post that we've got on our website has been downloaded over 12 and a half thousand times already, which gives you some indication of the appetite for licenced premises to make use of it.
“They could well have downloaded and then replicated it many hundreds of times after that for their own local schemes.”
The chairman said that whilst it was all very well to have the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign, staff must also fully understand how to recognise and react to vulnerability situations.
He said: “If [the staff] are not approached by people, because the person feels under threat, they should recognise the signs of vulnerability and act accordingly.
Baker said that “a whole range of people” could be in vulnerable situations, including customers, staff, men and women.
“I had a chap contact me yesterday saying, why haven't we got an Ask for Andy, a male name, a more masculine name. And I've tried to explain to him that Ask for Angela is about protecting everyone and is not purely about women,” he said.
The founder of the scheme and former Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy Coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council Hayley Child said previously: "The scheme has been positively received by the public and businesses alike.
“The public like that they can ask for help and have that safety net when dating or drinking in the establishment and businesses like the simplicity of the scheme which doesn't require time and expense to implement or the need to train staff beyond their own protocol for helping a customer."
An expanding scheme
This year, the Metropolitan Police teamed with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Safer Sounds to rejig the campaign and introduce it across London venues.
Venues that support the scheme have been given posters and digital materials, and have been given or offered Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement training from the Met’s licensing officers and Safer Sounds.
The name ‘Angela’ was chosen as a tribute to a friend of Child’s best friend, named Angela Crompton, who was murdered by her husband, whilst also invokes asking for help from a guardian ‘Angel’.
The scheme is implemented across most UK and Irish cities, as well as in Germany, Spain, USA, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia.