Ask for Angela
— 26 May 2017, 13:41
This campaign isn't new but it's definitely worth talking about. If you've ever used the loos at Boxpark Croydon then you've probably noticed that there are signs pasted on the inside of the cubicle doors encouraging you to 'ask for Angela'. But who is Angela?
Angela isn't a who, as such, she's more of a what. She's the thin line between vulnerability and security and she might just end up being your best friend. Your safety is paramount, there is literally nothing more important to us at Boxpark and we want to ensure that we're doing our best to help you feel as safe and secure as possible; whether it's security personnel patrolling the site or the CCTV cameras monitoring every corner.
But what do you do if you're with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable? What if it feels like you can't walk up to a security guard and ask for help? What do you do when you don't know what to do?
You go up to a member of our staff and you ask for Angela.
Asking for Angela is a secret code that lets our staff know that you need help.
If your date arrives in socks and sandals and won't stop yapping on about bird migration patterns or something that is of zero interest to you, then it's probably best you just call it a day and move onto the next one. If their personal hygiene is a little sketchy and you wondered when they last saw a hairbrush, again, shut it down and walk away. But, for some people, a date isn't all dead conversation and body odour. Sometimes, it's something far more sinister.
In a crowded place it can be hard to assess whether someone is uncomfortable in their situation. Maybe the person that they're with is ultra controlling, maybe they have a shady motive or maybe they're even being threatening. For some people, calling someone out on their crappy behaviour is as easy as shutting them down with a 'no', but, for others, it might not be that simple, and this is why Ask for Angela is a thing. A thing that you might need.
If you feel that you need help then go up to a member of our staff and ask for Angela. It then becomes our responsibility to get you to safety.
The Met Police state that the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing customers with a non-descript phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff members in order to be separated from the company of someone with whom they feel unsafe due to that person’s actions, words or behaviour.
Our staff will do whatever it takes to help you feel safe. That might mean contacting your friends or family, putting you in cab ride home or physically removing the other individual from the venue.
So, if ever you're feeling vulnerable please remember that you can always Ask for Angela.