A code word has been launched by police in Moray in an attempt to keep revellers safe during the festive period.
Staff in pubs and clubs across the region have been trained to offer help when they hear the “ask for Angela” phrase at the bar.
The initiative aims to offer a discreet way for people to ask for help without causing a scene.
Yesterday, police in Elgin, bar staff from the town and Moray Council teamed up to bring the campaign to the region, which was devised by Lincolnshire County Council in England two years ago.
Constable Jad Leach, a member of the Elgin community police team, explained the need for the code word was being driven by behavioural changes.
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He said: “With social media dating and all that type of thing now it’s becoming more common for people to go out on dates where they have not necessarily met that person in advance.
“This is another way to help vulnerable people seek safety if they end up in a situation that they were not expecting.
“It can act as a deterrent too though. People might be more reluctant to act in a threatening way if they know there is an avenue for people to turn to.”
Constable Leach explained pubs in Elgin town centre had taken to the campaign “enthusiastically”.
Bar staff have been encouraged to provide assistance to customers who say the code word.
Offers of help can include calling them a taxi, making a room on the premises available as a way to avoid the danger or providing a discreet way to leave the building.
Joanne Larsen, licensing standards officer at Moray Council, said: “It does happen when people are out on a first date and for whatever reason don’t feel comfortable and need some help.
“It started in England and has gradually spread out because it has proved to be very successful.”