Leech calls for 'Ask for Angela' to be implemented in Manchester "as soon as is humanly possible"


  • MP of 10 years calls on council to implement the successfully trialled Ask for Angela scheme "as soon as is humanly possible"
  • Ask for Angela helps people in vulnerable situations in pubs and bars to get out quickly and safely.

 

John Leech, Manchester Withington's former MP of ten years, has begun calls to implement 'Ask for Angela' in Manchester "as soon as is humanly possible."

Ask For Angela is part of a wider #NoMore campaign which aims to provoke a culture change in relation to sexual violence and abuse.

The scheme, which is a play on the word guardian angel, was first successfully trialled in Lincoln aiming to empower people if they felt like they needed to be removed from an uncomfortable situation in public bars or pubs. They could go to the bar and 'ask for Angela' - this would alert staff that the person needed help getting out of the bar quickly, safely and without any fuss.

John Leech, who currently stands as the sole opposition on Manchester Council, said: "Sexual abuse and violence is a national issue; all councils have a responsibility to tackle it and we need to start taking a leading role.

"Ask for Angela has been proven to work and could dramatically increase the safety of people in Manchester. I don't see why we wouldn't start putting plans in place immediately."

Earlier this year, the veteran politician launched an attack on Tinder and Grindr after he uncovered a spike in related sexual crimes, including rape. He called on the two leading dating apps to take the safety of their users seriously accusing them of a "serious and shocking lapse in care." He also spoke out about the need to bring sex education up to date and into the 21st century to include awareness of online safeguarding and dating apps.

The Liberal Democrat Councillor added: "As the popularity of apps like Tinder and Grindr continue to increase, more and more people are rightly meeting up with their dates in public bars and pubs, and we need to make sure we are one step ahead to ensure that no one is left in a situation they feel they can't get out of.

"Implementing Ask for Angela in Manchester will ensure a lifeline for those people who unfortunately do find themselves stuck in an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation, and it's our duty to get the scheme out as soon as is humanly possible."

Hayley Child, Sexual Violence & Abuse Strategy Coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council, came up with the idea and has been delighted with the response it has received.

She said: "We'd seen that a few individual pubs around the country had done similar messages at the bar saying that if people's dates weren't going well the bar staff would help and call them a cab, and we wanted to do this in a more organised way."


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