Leicestershire Police give BSL access to Deaf people

Thursday 2 July

Deaf people in Leicestershire can now call the police in BSL, using InterpreterNow.

The free InterpreterNow app means that for the first time the county’s police are instantly accessible to all Deaf people who live there.

“InterpreterNow are proud to be working with Leicestershire Police, and we hope other police forces follow this lead”, says John Maidens, Managing Director of InterpreterNow.

“InterpreterNow’s ambition is to end the communication difficulties and isolation that Deaf people face, and to allow them to lead fuller and more connected lives.”

Access to the non-emergency 101 line, using British Sign Language, starts today (1 July).  It will be available from 8am until midnight, 7 days a week. Leicestershire Police will run it as a pilot for six months.

The Leicestershire police force already has 17 staff who are trained in BSL, as part of their Police Link Officer for Deaf People, or PLOD service.

One of the PLODs is Detective Sergeant Emma Gilbert. “Being able to provide this service in addition to other ways to contact Leicestershire Police allows D/deaf people to make a choice”, she said.

“With our Police Link Officers for Deaf people (PLOD) in support, we hope that our D/deaf community across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will feel that we are making positive changes to make our service more accessible to them.”

“Because this is a 6 month trial we are very keen to know what people think of the service and what needs to change in order to improve it. So, I would like to encourage anyone who uses the service to give us feedback.”

InterpreterNow is already providing deaf people with sign language access to all government services in Scotland. Since June it has also been the system the NHS uses to provide sign language access to their 111 health advice service.

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Deaf people in Leicestershire can now call the police in BSL, using InterpreterNow. The free InterpreterNow