Samantha de Reya
British Sign Language (BSL) users who need to contact the police can now use SignLive who will translate their BSL discussion and relay this information to the force’s contact centre.
It is hoped the service will improve engagement with people who would like to contact the police but may struggle using some of the more traditional methods of contact.
Access to the service is via the SignLive app or website – www.signlive.co.uk. To make a report, select Dorset Police from the list of organisations. A video conversation will begin between a BSL interpreter and the user, and the interpreter will then contact the force directly and relay the message. Both the user and interpreter will stay on the call with the police for as long as required allowing further questions to be asked and more information to be provided. Police are also able to call the user back should they need more help or to follow up.
This new service forms part of a larger project within Dorset Police to help enable everyone to access the police in the easiest and most appropriate way for them.
Sam de Reya, from Dorset Police, said, “We are really pleased to launch this service and provide an innovative way to improve our contact channels to people who are deaf/hard of hearing.
“This opportunity to work alongside the professional interpreters from SignLive will enable us to reach out to those who may not have been able to contact us so easily in the past. We hope that this enables British Sign Language users to feel more comfortable in contacting us.
“There are now many ways people can contact us without needing to call, these include using our online crime reporting form, requesting a call back and emailing questions and reports to our 101 email – firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope the variety of channels will make contacting the police easy and accessible to all.”
This service should only be used for non-emergencies. In an emergency people who use British Sign Language should send a SMS/ Text to 999 Emergency. People must register before using this service, to register please visit the Emergency SMS website.
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