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Ask Angela


Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol.

Today’s Tip is for my law enforcement professionals. I want to take you through a quick scenario.

You are dispatched to assist a distraught female who was sexually assaulted by a man she met in a bar. After meeting the man, the victim was seen walking outside with him.   

The victim tells you that she felt uncomfortable with the man from the very beginning. He was pestering her and was just plain creepy. She tried to walk away, but he told her he would make a scene if she did. Finally, the man threatened her and told her to walk outside with him without saying a word.   

As part of your investigation, you go into the bar and speak to the bartenders. They remember the victim and saw her walk outside with a male customer. One of the bartenders said the victim kept looking at him as she was walking out, but he didn’t think there was a problem so he didn’t intervene. 

What if there was something the victim could have said to the bartender as she was walking out that would have clued him in that there was a problem, without the suspect knowing the victim was asking for help?   

A program called “Ask Angela” was introduced in England in 2016 that has thankfully gained traction worldwide. It allows a customer to ask a question in a discreet manner that alerts the bartender or employee that the customer needs some assistance.    

In the previous scenario, as the victim was walking outside, if she were able to ask the bartender “Is Angela around?”, then the bartender could have intervened. This would have given the victim a discreet way to ask for help.   

As a law enforcement professional, I ask you to get creative and develop programs that benefit your community. Come up with new ideas to protect those who live, work, and visit your community. You can’t always be there when bad things happen to people, so help them help themselves when it matters most. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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