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City of London carry out blind 'Ask for Angela' testing

The force has stepped up work to prevent violence of women and girls ahead of the Christmas period.

City of London Police has been carrying out blind 'Ask for Angela' testing on licenced premises ahead of the Christmas period. 

The initiative consists of people using the phrase when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in order to get help from staff. 

72% of the licenced premises that CoLP tested passed - staff recognised the code word that female plain-clothed officers used when they asked for "Angela" and that subsequently lead to welfare checks and advice from staff and management. 

The force's licencing team is now offering venues that didn't pass the option of training sessions to increase knowledge and confidence in identifying vulnerability and making appropriate interventions. 

It's one of a number of schemes the force will be implementing through the Christmas period and into the New Year.

Others include spiking training workshops for licenced premises staff, clamping down on unlicenced minicabs, as well as the 'Walk and Talk' scheme that other forces have previously used to encourage dialogue with the police around areas where the public feel unsafe. 

City of London will also be launching a 'Cycle Team' to increase officer presence and patrols. 

City of London Police temporary Commissioner Pete O’Doherty said: “Women and girls shouldn’t have to avoid certain areas, or have the fear of being abused or harassed when they’re out. We are encouraging all men to challenge their friends and colleagues who may have crossed the line and help make women feel safer.”

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