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Gironde: "Ask Angela", the device against street harassment, extended around Bordeaux

2022-11-28T18:03:08.784Z

Originally from the United Kingdom and implemented in France since 2020, this system allows a person who does not feel safe on the street to find refuge in a partner establishment.



Le Figaro Bordeaux

Where is Angela?

A benign sentence, but which can allow you to quickly get to safety in the event of harassment.

After the success of the device in Bordeaux, two other municipalities of Gironde, Mérignac and Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, have adopted the “

Ask Angela

” mechanism, in order to fight against sexual and gender-based violence.

Anyone bothered or harassed can go to a partner business and find help there, simply by saying the question "

Where's Angela?"

".

In Bordeaux, it has now been a year since “

Ask Angela

” was set up by the environmental municipality, in partnership with the Gironde prefecture and the Departmental Directorate of Public Security (DDSP).

In one year, we have doubled the number of establishments participating in this system

,” rejoices Amine Smihi, deputy mayor in charge of public peace, security and prevention.

To be recognizable, partner businesses are stamped with a pink and purple sticker.

One hundred requests for a year in Bordeaux

According to government figures, "

eight out of ten young women are afraid to go out alone at night

", and "

most women have already been harassed or followed on the street and on public transport

".

The "

Ask Angela

" system, implemented in France since 2020, therefore aims to "

create a safe and supportive network of places (bars, hotels, shops) with the capacity to assist and support people who find themselves in a difficult situation. of harassment

”.

The experience has been extended to many businesses in Bordeaux, from hairdressers to shopping centres.

And we are in the process of extending this to all our public establishments: museum, library, sports hall, etc.

», specifies Amine Smihi, so that «

“Ask Angela” is part of the common law prevention policies of the city of Bordeaux

”.

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For a year, the use of this device remains however quite low, with less than a hundred requests, "

which is rather good news

", underlines the deputy.

This reassures us about the future of our city, we are not yet at an absolute emergency stage

”.

For Amine Smihi, “

this device comes at the right time because it avoids seeing the establishment and establishment of a culture of insecurity

”.

Keolis, the operator of the TBM network (Transports Bordeaux Métropole) has also rolled out, in conjunction with the city of Bordeaux, a version of

“Ask for Angela”

.

In January 2022, two stations and 10 tram trains were equipped with specific emergency call terminals.

Now there are 10 stations and 20 trains.

It is still too early to judge the impact

”, specifies however the operator.

But an online form for reporting

a posteriori

aggression in transport has meanwhile a lot of “

success

”.

Through this, Keolis has already received 72 testimonials this year.

Extension of the system in Gironde

Inspired by what is done in Bordeaux and in transport, two municipalities of Bordeaux Métropole, Mérignac and Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, have just installed “

Ask Angela

”.

We did it a little differently, starting with the municipal services

”, specifies however Arnaud Durand, coordinator of the local council for security and crime prevention in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles.

For the moment, 16 agents have been trained to "

understand the reception of victims as well as possible, to welcome them well, not to judge them, and above all to guide them

», if necessary, to a reception center for victims.

In 2023, it will be the turn of associative and commercial partners.

By the end of 2023, the city hopes to have trained and educated around sixty people.

The experience also begins in Mérignac, the second largest town in the conurbation.

"

Unfortunately, we have more and more people who 'decompensate'

", emphasizes Marie Récalde, deputy mayor of Mérignac, about cases of harassment and sexist and sexual violence.

The figures from the police and justice services show that things are getting worse.

“The device has “

aroused a very favorable reception from traders

”, specifies the elected official.

If it is not only aimed at women, they are often the first victims.

Training will start at the beginning of January for store staff wishing to join "

Ask Angela

".

The Mérignac cinema is one of the first five partner establishments.

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Delighted that more and more municipalities are taking up this system, Amine Smihi underlines a positive effect in Bordeaux.

We noticed that “Ask for Angela” was more and more a criterion in the choice of establishments attended by young girls.

A business where employees are trained in dealing with cases of harassment therefore reassures customers, creating “

a feeling of security

”.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-11-28

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