Several pharmacies  in Sidmouth and Ottery are taking part in a scheme enabling people to discreetly ask for help if they're being subjected to domestic abuse.

Staff at participating pharmacies have been trained to recognise the codeword ANI - meaning Action Needed Immediately.

Customers who 'ask for ANI' will be invited into the consultation room, where the member of staff will check whether they are in immediate danger - if so, the police will be called on 999. Alternatively the staff member will help the person contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. 

Pharmacies which are taking part display posters with a distinctive hand symbol to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. In Sidmouth these include Boots in Fore Street and Woolbrook Road, and Lloyds Pharmacy; in Ottery the Boots shop in Broad Street is taking part.

The Ask for ANI scheme is supported by Devon and Cornwall Police and local organisations helping domestic abuse sufferers.