Jul 25 2012 by Robert Mitchell, Wishaw Press
POLICE stations in the area have been fitted with new technology which helps officers and staff communicate effectively with members of the deaf community.
Strathclyde Police teamed up with Deaf Connections charity to install the communications package launched last week at Motherwell station.
Working from a laptop fitted with a web camera, officers can have direct contact with an interpreter who translates sign language for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Chief Superintendent Grant Manders said: “It is fundamentally important we are able to communicate effectively with everyone with whom we come into contact. I am delighted the introduction of sign-on screens will help us do that with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
“We have worked closely with Deaf Connections to ensure the right training is delivered to officers and staff and hope those within the deaf community will feel more confident when they come into contact with Strathclyde Police.”
The equipment will be used to allow deaf people to engage with the police on an ad hoc basis; e.g., reporting a crime, passing on information or inquiries. However, it is not intended for use in legal matters where appropriately qualified personnel will continue to be present.
Strathclyde Police have worked closely on the new system with Deaf Connections, who provide support and care services for deaf and hard of hearing people in their own homes.
Morag Donnelly, commercial services manager with Deaf Connections, said: “We are delighted to be working with Strathclyde Police in delivering deaf awareness training to officers and providing our online interpreting service, Sign-on Screen.
“We are committed to enabling deaf people to participate fully in the community, to make equality and fairness a normal feature of their everyday lives, we believe this proactive and inclusive approach from Strathclyde Police will help make this possible.”
Source: Wishaw Press