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  • Phillipe Chiarella

Safer Sounds, Met Police and Mayor of London launch refreshed WAVE Programme

Safer Sounds, part of the Safer Business Network, have joined with the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor of London and licensed venues across the Capital to help keep people safe while enjoying a night out. After lockdown, London’s bars, clubs and other licensed premises are busy and numbers are expected to increase with 18- and 19-year-olds not having experienced the night-time economy.

A new WAVE Programme, including WAVE Training and the The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative is now being rolled out to venues across London with new assets for customers and staff teams.

People who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can seek discreet help by approaching staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase will indicate to staff that they require help with their situation and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them. The venue can then support the vulnerable person through an appropriate intervention.

Venues can also now access the refreshed Welfare And Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) training. Delivered by Safer Sounds and the Met’s licensing officers – the training gives staff the ability to help customers who may be in a situation that makes them vulnerable or unsafe. So far over 350 frontline staff from over 150 London venues have been trained since the start of August.

Organisations can receive WAVE training through the Safer Sounds Partnership or via their local licensing team. The training explores what vulnerability is, how to identify it and appropriate interventions. A range of online assets and webinars are available. You can visit www.safersounds.org.uk/wave or email wave@saferbusiness.org.uk to find out more.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors joined Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden and Phillipe Chiarella from Safer Sounds at the Ministry of Sound on 25th August 2021 to highlight the importance of the campaign to representatives of the licensed business sector and to raise awareness among the public.

DAC Connors said: “I am really pleased to see that so many venues are embracing this scheme and I would urge anyone who finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation in a licensed venue to ‘Ask for Angela’.

“No one should have to put up with unwanted attention or predatory, sexual or violent behaviour. This scheme makes it easier for anyone feeling unsafe or threatened on a night out to access support quickly and discreetly. This might mean reuniting them with a friend they were out with, contacting family or friends, calling a taxi or, if necessary, involving security staff or police.”

She added: “The Met Police is absolutely committed to tackling violence. We want everyone to be safe anywhere in London and be able to go about their business without fear or feeling unsafe.”



Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said: “The Ask for Angela initiative is a great example of London Councils, the Met Police, City Hall, Safer Sounds, and venues across London working together to deliver real change.

“It builds on the success of City Hall’s Women’s Night Safety Charter - which is working to prevent and reduce sexual violence and ensure public spaces are safe at night - and is an important part of our comprehensive approach to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls.



“With restrictions lifting and many of London’s clubs and bars open and busy throughout the night, it’s vital we do everything we can to prevent and reduce sexual violence and harassment. The Ask for Angela initiative will make accessing vital support quick and easy for those feeling unsafe or threatened and I would encourage all of London night-time venues to sign up.”

Phillipe Chiarella, Programme & Training Manager, Safer Sounds said: “What is clear from the work that Safer Sounds does with licensed premises is that businesses want to tackle vulnerability head on, but staff can be unsure of how to identify a vulnerable person and make an appropriate intervention. Venues who sign up to our WAVE programme ensure their staff are trained and empowered to actively assist customers in trouble and thereby prevent and reduce violent and sexual offences from taking place.

“Our revitalisation of Ask for Angela shows that sexual harassment and assaults will not be tolerated in London’s venues. By providing assets for social media, we are encouraging conversations about acceptable behaviour that will have a positive impact on the safety of those who visit licensed premises.

“Safer Sounds is committed to being a voice for business on this important issue and to working with the Police, Mayor’s Office and councils to ensure that vulnerability is tackled in partnership with venues.”

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