Code-word to escape bad dates to be rolled out in North Yorkshire

Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police
Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police

People who feel unsafe while on a date can use a new code phrase to alert staff, under an initiative being rolled out by pubs and the police in North Yorkshire.

Anyone who wants to be separated from the person they are with can ask to speak to ‘Angela’ and staff will help them to leave discreetly.

The Ask for Angela initiative was first developed in Lincolnshire in 2016 and even garnered praise on social media from Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher.

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said: "Ask for Angela is a really important initiative to ensure that support is provided to anyone who finds themselves feeling uneasy in certain situations.

“Dating has changed as a result of the wide use of dating sites and social media apps, so it is crucial that anyone who feels intimidated or unsafe because of the actions of the person they are with, can access help quickly and discreetly.

“Often, people on dates in pubs or other licenced premises are meeting people for the very first time face to face, and this can leave people feeling very vulnerable, or worse, at threat from harm.

“I encourage anyone who intends to meet someone for the first time to meet in busy, crowded places, tell a friend or family member where you are going and do not disclose too much personal information with anyone which could threaten your safety – such as your home address.

“If you do find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe then speak to a member of staff at the venue and ask for Angela at your earliest opportunity.”