Making police services accessible to Deaf people

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2023 National Disabled Members' Conference
7 July 2023

Conference notes that some police services in the UK have specialised Police Link Officer with Deaf People (PLOD). This has helped to make police services more accessible to Deaf people in some areas but it remains a post code lottery without a consistent service in all parts of the UK.

Turn-over of staff also means that there are vacancies and time required for re-training which can lead to gaps even where the PLOD service exists.

Conference notes that the 999 emergency number is now accessible to Deaf native British Sign Language (BSL) speakers. A videophone system is in operation which allows a Deaf person to phone 999 and use BSL to report their emergency.

Conference notes that for many non-emergency issues such as anti-social behaviour, the 101 non-emergency number is recommended. However there is no facility for Deaf BSL users to access this number using our own language.

Conference therefore instructs the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1)Support appropriate campaigns for the 101 non-emergency number to provide a videophone BSL option in line with the 999 service

2)Work with the Police and Justice Service Group to campaign for an extension of the PLOD service to all areas of the UK and to investigate ways of encouraging police services to raise the profile and value of PLODs so that this is seen as an important role that officers are attracted to taking on.