Editor’s comment: No comment is no good for attack victim


- Credit: Archant

The silence of XOYO’s parent group over a sexual assault at the club isn’t good enough.

First of all, I believe the actions of the woman’s assailants are no one’s fault but their own – the club does not bear responsibility for what those men chose to do.

But it must bear some responsibility for the way its staff handled the allegation.

Big organisations – and from time to time I would include councils in this – sometimes seem to believe their silence will kill a story, as though we cannot run anything at all without their help. And while it’s true we want our stories to be accurate and fair, that doesn’t mean anyone else gets to choose what we publish.

I won’t speculate about the reasons the Columbo Group may have had for failing to answer six requests for comment over the course of a fortnight.

But I will say the club and its owners must do everything they can do stop assaults like these happening on their premises.

That might mean more CCTV, or implementing a scheme like the Met Police’s “Ask for Angela” initiative.

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At bars that sign up to it, clubbers who feel vulnerable can use the code word “Angela” to ask staff for help. Islington, over the border, is currently consulting on working “Ask for Angela” into its licensing policy – which it’s fair to say is likely to go down a lot better than Hackney’s latest efforts to tame the late-night economy.

• I’m glad to see a group of neighbours coming out in support of the CS1 road closures.

I’ve made my views clear in the past, and I won’t retread them here – but it always irked me that the only people we could gather for group photographs opposed the scheme, even though consultations have found plenty of people do actually support it. Finally we’ve got a bit of visual balance on the subject.

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