Police questioned on how to deal with deaf people

PC Bryan Newbold meets members of Bolton deaf community

PC Bryan Newbold meets members of Bolton deaf community

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This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

BOLTON Deaf Society put police to the test with questions about help available for people with hearing problems.

People who attend the charity in Bark Street, Bolton, met police officers at an event held to mark Deaf Awareness Week.

Questions included whether people would get in trouble for texting while driving if they got into difficulty on the motorway and what would happen if a deaf person was arrested if their only way of communicating was by sign language.

Det Insp Charlotte Cadden, the hate crime spokesperson for Bolton police, said: “Visiting Bolton Deaf Society and meeting its users was a fantastic opportunity for people to get to know their local officers and raise any policing concerns.

“The officers enjoyed answering the varied questions from visitors.

“Police are hoping to introduce regular meetings at the charity to allow people to keep officers informed and to get advice about crime prevention and personal safety.

“The visit was also a chance for police to raise awareness about the emergency SMS service available for hard of hearing and speech-impaired people. Registering to the service will enable messages to be passed to the police, ambulance, fire service or coastguard in an emergency.”

Bolton community safety staff were on hand to offer visitors extendable cords which can be used to secure purses and other valuables and alert them if someone tries to steal items.

Alison Parker, administrator at Bolton Deaf Society, said: “It was an eye-opening experience for members. Some of the questions asked by members were driving related.

“There’s a lot of questions that our deaf community need to ask — things that hearing people may take for granted but sometimes the information isn’t out there.

“We are hoping to set up a forum where police can come down on a regular basis and meet the community.”

To sign up for the emergency messaging service visit emergencysms.org.uk

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