Our police service should be accessible to all members of the community it serves, says Greater Manchester Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd.
This is National Deaf Awareness Week, and for the next two weeks, Tony is inviting people affected by sight or hearing loss to share their experiences on communicating with Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
The survey was launched at a conference held by the commissioner on Monday 19 May for people who are blind or visually impaired, or deaf or hearing impaired.
During the event, people with a range of sight and hearing disabilities, along with disability groups and service providers, spoke to Tony about what it was like to communicate with GMP and report crime. They discussed the lack of confidence experienced on both sides when people with and without disabilities communicate, and suggested improvements that could be made by GMP.
Speaking at the conference, Tony said:
“It’s quite right that our police service should serve all members of our community, including those with alternative communication needs. If that means finding ways to improve access to the police – whether at police stations themselves, when providing crime prevention advice, or when using the 101 non-emergency number, then these are things GMP need to look at.
“We are all on a journey, here, not just the police but all services. We all need to work harder to find ways to remove the – often unnecessary – barriers faced by people with disabilities in our community.”Tony Lloyd
Kimberley Burrows praised GMP for their online communications: “I really like that GMP use Twitter. For visually impaired people, Twitter is more accessible than other social media, and it’s a good way to connect.”
Ron Goulden, who has been blind since he was seven years old, said: “Events like these are good, but it’s really important that it leads to real change and improvements.”
Billy Lambert said: “Deaf people really value events like this. It’s a real positive that the police are willing to hear what we have to say.”
- Take part in the survey at www.gmpcc.org.uk/disability
- Join discussions on Twitter using #gmpccdisability