Islington Council draws up plans to tackle sexual harassment in pubs and clubs

A file image of a pub in central London. People are being encouraged to 'ask for Angela' at bars in

A file image of a pub in central London. People are being encouraged to 'ask for Angela' at bars in Islington as code to be called a taxi or helped to leave discreetly. Picture: Yui Mok/PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Pubs, bars and clubs across Islington could be told to do more to stop women being sexually harassed on a night out.

The town hall has drawn up plans for a new licensing policy setting out what it expects from its venues and how it will decide whether to grant licences.

Among the main changes to the current policy is a pledge to improve safeguarding measures for women and young adults.

That includes promoting the Met’s “ask for Angela” initiative, encouraging anyone who feels vulnerable to say that phrase to staff, who will then ensure they are safe.

Other measures for venues include displaying posters discouraging harassment and encouraging people to report it, taking every report seriously, take steps to support anyone reporting sexual harassment, training staff and introducing ways to ensure women can leave the venue safely.

ID scanners could also be brought in at pubs and clubs that attract younger people between 18 and 25.

Islington’s community chief Kaya Comer-Schwartz, said: “Our proposed new licensing policy will make Islington’s venues a safer place to be by taking further steps to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour as a result of late night alcohol sales.

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“It’s really important that local residents and businesses have their say on our new plans, so that everyone can be involved in ensuring that Islington is a safe place to be.”

The draft policy also proposes expanding the King's Cross cumulative impact area, which makes it harder for applications to be granted due to the existing saturation of premises.

A borough-wide cumulative impact policy is also being proposed for off-licences, to stop alcohol-related problems.

To have your say on the policy please click here. The deadline for submissions is October 29.