A CODE phrase will enable people feeling vulnerable on a date in a bar or club to ask for help from staff.

Cotswold District Council is helping to promote a campaign that encourages people to ask for help discreetly when they are out on a date and feel unsafe.

If you are in a bar or club that is signed up to the campaign and don’t feel secure with your date, you can approach a member of staff and ask: “Is Angela in?”

This coded message should alert the establishment’s employees that they may need to step in to remove you from potential harm, and call a taxi for you if necessary.

The initiative – which applies to males and females – stems from a successful campaign that originated in Lincolnshire.

Closer to home, it got off the ground when the Gloucester Licensed Victuallers Association teamed with Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, Gloucestershire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner to launch the scheme – and the number of bars and clubs taking part is growing continuously.

With the Christmas season here, Cotswold District Council is hoping to assist in spreading the word.

Councillor Stephen Hirst, the cabinet member for community safety, said: “As a member of the Community Safety Partnership, we support this scheme 100 per cent.

"For most people, going out on a date is a very pleasurable experience, but we must not forget that this is not always the case.

"These days, many people arrange to see each other once they have established a relationship online, and this could lead to problems if a person turns out to be not what they seemed in the virtual world.

"On other occasions, an established relationship may take a sudden turn for the worse and one of the parties could suddenly feel insecure.

“Creating a coded message request for assistance in these and other circumstances is a very smart move, and provides a useful ‘lifeboat’ when a rendezvous does not go as well as expected.”