PUB and bar owners have welcomed a scheme to improve safety in Barrow's nightlife and across Cumbria.

The 'Ask for Angela' scheme – relaunched today by Cumbria police – is a safety initiative for bars and pubs across Cumbria which will allow people to discreetly ask for help when they feel unsafe in public.

And the landlady at Barrow’s Costello Bar welcomed the scheme and its aims of making people feel safer.

The landlady for Costello said: “We have heard all about the scheme and it will mean people can go to the DJ or to someone behind the bar if they feel unsafe.

“We’ve never had a scheme like this before but it’s a very good idea. Especially for night clubs and late at night when things can happen.

“It just needs people to know the option is there for them.

“It is very much needed as things seem to be getting worse out there.”

Ask for Angela is a simple codeword campaign for people feeling unsafe when on a date or out in the nighttime economy.

It encourages people to discreetly ask for help by going to the bar and Asking for Angela – a phrase aimed at alerting staff to a need for assistance.

Management at Ulverston’s Swan Inn thought the scheme would build on previous initiatives used by bars in the past.

The manager of the Swan said: “We’ve never had to use any of these codewords before, thankfully, but it is better for the customer and better for us having these important schemes out there.

“We had a similar one running in bars over the past three or four years but it’s important to get the public aware of them.”

Temporary Chief Inspector Gill Cherry, night-time economy lead for Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Safety of the public is a concern that is shared not only by police but also staff at licensed premises.

“This is a great initiative for venues to sign up to, and it is important that the public are aware of the venues involved. That is why we are relaunching Ask for Angela across Cumbria.

“People want to feel safe when they are out. However, the feedback we received from the public, during our Call it Out Campaign survey, was that people unfortunately don’t always feel safe when they are out in town at night.

"That is why this scheme is so important and important to raise awareness of it; it can provide the public with piece of mind that a discreet exit method is available should they be in a situation where they feel worried and concerned in a participating bar or pub.

“We want people to enjoy themselves in a safe environment when meeting other people.

"The Ask for Angela initiative is something that we believe can only increase the safety of members of the public when visiting bars and pubs.

“While the campaign focuses on those who are on dates, it also applies to any situation where a person feels uncomfortable or threatened by a person they may have met.”

Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner Peter McCall said: “This is an important initiative, and essentially it demonstrates the effectiveness of all agencies working together to help make the night-time economy as safe as possible, for everyone to enjoy.

“Cumbria police are committed to doing everything they can to make our streets safer and ‘Ask for Angela’ helps to provide additional support and reassurance to both men and women, in helping to prevent potential problems from escalating.

“I am delighted that even more bars and pubs than ever before, are signing up to the initiative, which highlights the importance that the constabulary are relaunching the project and raising awareness with the public.

“For someone who unwittingly finds themselves in a situation where they are feeling vulnerable and scared, to have what is essentially a lifeline, is invaluable.”