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Training sessions will help police communicate with deaf people

Posted Mar 03 2009 4:28pm

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Police officers in East Lancashire are being given deaf awareness training to be able to communicate better with the deaf community. Sixteen officers will attend the event tomorrow.

The training will be delivered by Deafinitely Able Consultancy Ltd and will cover topics such as how police communicate with deaf people, different types of deafness, taboos surrounding deafness and the deaf community and culture.

Officers will learn some basic British Sign Language, but the main aim is to make them aware of how they can best help deaf people.

Around 300 members of staff have previously taken part in deaf awareness training and the constabulary already has a team of 26 officers trained in BSL, ranging from levels one to three.

They can assist with communication and discuss community or crime-related issues with the deaf community. They also help people brought into custody and make initial contact with victims and offenders to establish what has taken place.

PC Paula Robertson, Lancashire Constabulary's Deaf Liaison Officer, works full time on improving services for deaf people living in Lancashire. She has set up a number of projects to make access to services easier for those who are deaf.

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