Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable, Chris Eyre signed the British Sign Language (BSL) Charter at the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society.

The charter will strengthen the Force’s capacity to eliminate unlawful discrimination against deaf people whether direct discrimination or indirect discrimination.

Signing the charter will also help the Force advance equality of opportunity and build good relations with the deaf community, empowering the local deaf community and increasing awareness of deaf and British Sign Language (BSL) issues.

The members of the deaf community and chairman of the British Deaf Association - Dr Terry Riley OBE witnessed the signing of the Charter which sets out five pledges to improve access and rights for Deaf people.

There are five pledges that make up the Charter of which the force will sign the three most relevant pledges to the service that it provides:

  • Ensure access for deaf people to information and services
  • Ensure staff working with Deaf people can communicate effectively in British Sign Language
  • Consult with our local Deaf community on a regular basis

Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable, Chris Eyre said: “At Nottinghamshire Police we are committed to equality of opportunity, treatment and behaviour, and we will continue to build relationships with the deaf community in Nottinghamshire.

"We hope by signing the Charter, this will show further our commitment to support the Deaf community and improve our services to ensure access for Deaf and BSL users.”

Chairman of the British Deaf Association, Dr Terry Riley OBE said: “By signing the BDA BSL Charter, along with this evenings consultation forum, you will ensure that the conflicts and concerns between the police and the deaf community are addressed a true consultation and partnership.”

Signing the British Sign Language Charter will also strengthen the work the Force is doing to improve access to services for people with any physical disability, learning disability or other vulnerability.

Nationally, Nottinghamshire holds the lead for access.

Superintendent Paul Burrows from Nottinghamshire Police, the national lead for access, said: “We hope to build upon the best practice shown in other forces and in Nottinghamshire to improve accessibility across the board and to adapt our services accordingly.

If you have any feedback on how Nottinghamshire Police can adapt their services to be better for your friends or family, please email website@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk