New custody scheme for deaf people to launch summer 19

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Staffordshire Commissioners Office have introduced a new scheme that they hope will improve the experience of deaf people who are in police custody.

Funding for the scheme has been approved by the Staffordshire Police, Fire, Rescue and Crime Commissioner.

This comes after the meetings that were held by the Staffordshire Police PLOD (Police link officer for deaf people) group who have been working to improve the custody conditions for people who suffer from hearing loss.

A video of a bespoke British Sign Language will be made to make sure any British sign language user is able to understand what is happening when they are being detained.

The video is said to cost up to £1,000 to create and is expected to be available for police custody in summer 2019.

Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner Sue Arnold said: “Clear lines of communication when someone is in police custody are essential in order that they can fully understand why they are there and what will happen next.

“Using existing phone based translation services, offices can access dozens of languages at the touch of a button but the effective communication with deaf people can be harder.

“The risks creating an imbalance in the service offered to the public, which is why I am pleased the Staffordshire Commissioner is able to fund this project.”

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