A new safety initiative by the state government will be rolled out in pubs and other venues in coming months which aims to give patrons a safer environment for a fun night out.
From this weekend, venues all over the State will be able to participate in “Ask for Angela”, a program designed to give patrons a discreet way to seek help if they have concerns for their safety and wellbeing.
Under the program, patrons who feel unsafe can ask bar staff at any participating venue to speak to ‘Angela’.
Staff will then take the appropriate action – which can range from escorting the patron to a safe area, arranging for a taxi or alerting security or authorities to the issue.
Attorney General, Vickie Chapman said Ask for Angela would help combat violence and anti-social behaviour.
“A fun night out should be just that – a fun night out,” Ms Chapman said.
“However, in some cases, things can take a dark turn, and people may feel at risk and isolated or afraid to seek help.
“Ask for Angela gives patrons at participating venues a simple way to seek assistance if they feel at all at risk.
“Ask for Angela will progressively roll out in venues from this weekend in the leadup to the busier festive season and warmer months,” Ms Chapman said.
Minister for Human Services, Michelle Lensink said the program has been used extensively in other jurisdictions, originating in the Lincolnshire Council in the United Kingdom before being taken up in New South Wales.
“Ask for Angela is a simple, effective measure that can give people support and assistance, should they feel unsafe, before things spiral out of control,” Minister Lensink said.
The Australian Hotel’s Association’s (AHA) Manager Government Relations and Policy Ms Wendy Bevan said that SA AHA members were pleased to be involved in the initiative.
“Our hospitality businesses will always help patrons when asked and we hope the Ask for Angela program will encourage people who may feel unsafe to do just that,” Ms Bevan said.
“The AHA has been working with the State Government to get this program rolled out in SA and we are hugely encouraged to see it launch now, it simply makes sense for our customers’ safety, for venue amenity and for business.
“The AHA will now be working with our members to introduce Ask for Angela and we expect to see lots of venues come on board as Ask for Angela rolls out across the State.”
Chief Inspector Richard Lambert said South Australia Police hope the adoption of this innovative campaign enables those who feel vulnerable or unsafe in licenced premises to discretely seek assistance from staff.
“SA Police is supportive of this community safety initiative,” Chief Inspector Lambert said.
“It gives people another option to ask for help without putting themselves at further risk, encouraging them to speak to staff who in turn will be able to respond appropriately and contact police if required.
“Making the wider public, staff and other patrons aware of this program, encouraging them to embrace it and act appropriately is another step forward in preventing sexual violence in our community.”
Participating venues will display signage in discreet locations to indicate they are taking part in the program.
Venues interested in taking part can find out more by visiting: https://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/ask-for-angela/