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‘Being a silent bystander is NOT OK’: Police inspector expects taxi drivers to help vulnerable women

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

A West Midlands Police Inspector has warned taxi drivers and other professional drivers that 'being a silent bystander is not ok' in the aftermath of the murder of Sabina Nessa.

Inspector Lee Trinder warned cabbies and bus drivers that they hold a key role in their communities identifying vulnerable intoxicated women who find themselves in possibly dangerous situations.

The Inspector also publicised the safety initiative ‘Ask for Angela’ which has been rolled out across the UK.

People who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase indicates to staff that they require help with their situation and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them. This might be through reuniting them with a friend, seeing them to a taxi, or by calling venue security and/or the police.

Many venues that support Ask for Angela will also have been given or offered Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) training.

Ask for Angela was originally developed by Lincolnshire County Council and adopted by others as a localised initiative by its police licensing officers.

Inspector Lee Trinder of West Midlands Police said: “I am calling on all professional taxi/bus drivers that should you pick up a fare, any party (female partic) being highly intoxicated with people who seem not to be, or controlling the situation, then call us.

“We will check on them. Being a silent bystander is not ok.”


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