‘Ask for Angela’ begun in 2017 as a safety initiative allowing customers in uncomfortable or dangerous situations to get discreet help if they asked for ‘Angela’ at the bar.
While the scheme has historically relied on speaking to a member of staff, Zapaygo users will now be able to select the ‘Ask for Angela’ option from a participating venue’s menu on the app.
Eliot Hall, founder and chief executive of Zapaygo, said: “Technology in our industry has long been used to improve the customer experience and operational efficiency.
“Following the recent increase in concern over the wellbeing and safety of guests in late-night venues, Zapaygo, in partnership with the NTIA, have been working on ways to use our technology to integrate personal safety features too.”
Keeping customers safe
The launch follows a sharp rise in reports of drink spiking over the past months, with consumers calling for increased security measures in night-time sector venues.
This initiative is one of many layers of safeguarding measures put in place by the sector to build public confidence and improve communication between staff and vulnerable customers.
Hall said: “We believe that we can offer solutions that fit industry standards and work in real-life, operational practice. The safety of our users is our top priority.”
NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said the company was constantly working to improve inclusion and safety in night-time spaces.
For Kill, this initiative will enhance communication channels between vulnerable or compromised customers and staff.
Looking back at 'Ask for Angela'
He said: “It is clear the enhanced mitigations around searching, communication and training alongside safety mechanisms like this initiative will go a long way to building confidence in the sector, and the ability for people to enjoy a safe night out.”
The ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme was originally founded by former sexual violence and abuse strategy co-ordinator for Lincolnshire county council Hayley Child.
The name ‘Angela’ was chosen as a tribute to a friend of Child’s called Angela Crompton who was murdered by her husband while also plays on invoking help from a guardian ‘angel’.
The scheme is currently implicated across most UK and Irish cities as well as cities in Germany, Spain, the US, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia.