This is interesting, if depressing article (a phrase I use far too often). The Metro tested the efficacy of the Ask for Angela
scheme in pubs in London and found very few staff knew what the phrase meant, despite there often being posters in the toilets saying they were participating in the scheme.
One barman at a pub-come-eatery, seemingly never having heard of the scheme, left me alone (which is a no-no) and disappeared to ask his manager if they run Ask For Angela – he responded that they do, in fact.
The scheme is being promoted by the Metropolitan police, who announced in the summer that they had 150-plus venues taking part. But training is voluntary for the venues that do sign up and with high staff turnover it seems that very few are being made aware that the venue is even participating, let alone being told what to do is someone actually asks for Angela.
The last place visited, a pub in Finsbury Park, had the latest Ask For Angela posters up, which have only become available in recent months. I had hoped that this would mean awareness of the scheme was fresh in the minds of staff.
Sadly, ‘Who’s Angela?,’ was the response yet again.
After speaking to the barman’s manager, he said since signing up he ‘hadn’t heard much’ from organisers of the initiative.
To compound the problems, it seems that no-one is actually recording which venues have signed up to the scheme - the Met said they don't, which also means no-one is recording when someone actually "asks for Angela" so there's no data on the efficacy of the scheme.
In fact, when the scheme first began, anyone could download an Ask For Angela poster without their details being recorded – the result of which, as the campaign stands today, is that no one truly knows which venues are providing this service.
While the Safer Business Network, who partner with the Met and facilitate WAVE training, applied for funding from the Home Office to address some of the scheme’s flaws, their request was unsuccessful as of earlier this month. Now they plan to look ‘externally’ for the money.