New programme protects people from predators in bars

A new programme is helping train New Zealand's bar staff to spot predatory behaviour and it could save your life.

Managing director at Four Kings Wellington, Matt McLaughlin, joined The AM Show on Tuesday and says he wants our bars to be "as safe as possible".

"We've been busy trying to change people's behaviour in Wellington, and try and intervene in any potential sexual assaults we see," he says.

The pilot programme includes things like providing free Wi-Fi and charging stations for phones, and providing staff with training to identify potentially dangerous situations and protect intoxicated people

"We're not here to stop people meeting, we're not here to stop people hooking up - that's a lot of what bars are about," Mr McLaughlin says.

"We're just looking at the predatory behaviour, the bad behaviour, trying to intervene and see if we can't stop it."

And he has one important piece of advice for young women.

"Be aware of their surroundings, just don't be left alone and make sure you've got plenty of charge on your phone, make sure you've got credit so you can ring your friends, and just stay safe," he says.

"Don't be afraid to put your hand up and come up to the bar staff or security staff and say 'hey listen, I'm in a situation I just don't feel comfortable with'. Don't be afraid to put your hand up because we're here to help."