Home Community and neighbourhoods Local taxi drivers support Ask for Angela campaign
Cllr Powell with one of the taxis

Local taxi drivers support Ask for Angela campaign

by Jonathan Kearney

Taxi drivers in Knowsley are supporting an initiative that will help women feel safe on a night out in our town centres.

Bar, restaurant, taxi companies and security staff in Huyton Village Centre and Prescot and Kirkby Town Centres have been taking part in a training programme inducting them into the Ask for Angela initiative.

Women who feel harassed, intimidated, unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can approach hospitality staff and ‘Ask for Angela’ to alert them that they need help.

The Ask for Angela code-phrase will alert trained staff that the person is in need of support and assistance. This might be through reuniting them with a friend, seeing them to a taxi, or by calling venue security and/or the police.

As part of the outdoor media campaign to promote the initiative some black cabs have been wrapped with information about Ask for Angela to help raise awareness.

Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:

“It’s important there is exposure for the Ask for Angela campaign and the message is shared widely. We want women to feel safe and enjoy socialising in our town centres during the evening. In partnership with Merseyside Police, local businesses, community groups and others we want to ensure women and girls in our borough feel safe as they go about their day to day lives.”

Last year Knowsley was awarded almost £190,000 from the Home Office, to fund a project that will improve the safety of women and girls at night in the borough.

This funding was used to ensure additional policing resources are in the area, specifically during the evening in Huyton Village Centre, Prescot and Kirkby Town Centres, where there is a growing night-time economy.

Superintendent Karl Baldwin, Knowsley Local Policing, said:

“We continue to come together with our partners to make our streets safer. Women and girls have the absolute right to feel safe, in every circumstance, without exception. Too often this is not their reality, particularly on a night out.

“As part of Knowsley’s Safety of Women at Night project there is an increased police presence in Huyton Village, Prescot and Kirkby Town Centres at peak times. If you have any concerns, need help or need to report something, please speak with them. Alternatively you can report an incident of sexual violence, anonymously if you wish, via the Merseyside Police website or by calling 101. In an emergency you should always call 999.”