IT'S a simple idea that could help to protect young women from dangerous situations in Byron Bay.

Tweed Byron Police District officers and the Byron Bay Liquor Accord have worked together to implement a code word-driven program to help women remove themselves from uncomfortable circumstances.

Acting Commander Brendon Cullen said the "Ask for Angela" campaign was first launched in the UK and has since been rolled out in other parts of Australia.

Insp Cullen said it had worked "fantastically well" in other areas and he hoped it would help to drive down attacks on women in Byron Bay.

"(It's) a campaign designed to provide safety to women who are going into licensed premises and may be experiencing difficulty with a companion within that licences premises," he said.

"At times, women find that it's difficult to get away from men or people who may be harassing them.

"They may have met up on a date through social media, not knowing the person they are with.

"Ask for Angela provides women with an opportunity to go to bar staff and to ask staff for assistance by using that code word.

"That will alert staff for the need of the lady to leave the premised safely, to call police or to get other services which may assist them.

"It's important that we have something like this to assist women who may find themselves in trouble in our licences premised, particularly here in Byron Bay."

Insp Cullen said police had visited all licensed venues in Byron Bay and provided them with information about the campaign.

He said the Byron Bay Liquor Accord had also gotten behind the initiative and helped to get the word out.

"It's fully supported by the community here and it's very encouraging to have our liquor accord supporting this and we see it as a very positive program for the town," Insp Cullen said.

He said staff members would "fully briefed" on the campaign and if a patron asks for 'Angela', they would take that person to a safe place.

"We have seen an upswing in sexual assaults from people who have been at licensed premises ... and that is the reason why we want to provide protection for women in these environments," he said.

"There has been a concerning rise right across the state, in assaults against women, and this is what we're doing to help have a safe environment for them."

Insp Cullen said they would focus on Byron Bay for now, but police haven't ruled out trying the campaign in other parts of the region.

Byron Bay Liquor Accord chairperson Hannah Spalding welcomed the Ask for Angela campaign.

"Most of the large venues and pubs have security, many people around that people can reach out to," she said.

"We're really positive with Ask for Angela that this may really tap into licensed venues that aren't members of the liquor accord ... smaller bars that feel they don't have a huge impact.

"They still have a huge part to play."

Eliza Fornero, who recently arrived in Byron, welcomed the idea.

"I think it's good," she said.

"It's good that people care."

Bangalow woman Sharon Hawkrigg agreed it could be a valuable tool for young women.

"I think it's a great idea," she said.

Women who are feeling unsafe in any licenced venue in Byron Bay can approach staff and ask for "Angela" to trigger their support under the campaign.


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