Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DVD offers crime prevention advice for deaf people

DVD offers crime prevention advice for deaf people

A DVD offering advice to deaf people on crime prevention has been made by an officer after he realised sections of the community were missing out.

The DVD was devised by Kevin Childs from Gwent Police, who had spent time working with deaf people in the area.

He teamed up with the British Deaf Association and made the film featuring two deaf lead characters in various crime prevention scenarios.

The film will now be distributed to forces throughout the UK.

Insp Childs said after working with local community groups he had concluded the main challenges were a lack of suitably accessible crime prevention literature and lack of engagement with, and access to, police officers.

The DVD offers a variety of visual aid options for users which can be switched on and off as needed, including signing, subtitles in a variety of languages and a facility for lip reading.

Insp Childs said: "The DVD is an ideal solution to the issue of delivering suitably accessible advice.

"It will include a number of short scenarios providing simple crime prevention advice to be considered when at home and when out and about."

Scene from crime prevention DVD
Insp Fran Richley signing part of the information in the film

In addition to the DVD, Insp Childs has also organised deaf Police and Community Together (Pact) meetings in the Gwent Police area.

So far, four meetings have taken place since the first was held in Blackwood in December 2008.

"The Pact meetings provide a perfect opportunity for the police to listen to the community, advise them how we can be contacted and tell them about the services we have available to them, in an environment they are comfortable in.

"I am hopeful that by implementing the PACT meetings, as well as having officers who use sign language, and the use of the DVD, satisfaction and confidence among the deaf community will improve."

Jeff Brattan-Wilson, senior deaf advocacy officer for British Deaf Association Wales, said: "British Deaf Association is delighted to see that Gwent Police is actively engaging with the deaf community in Gwent.

"[We are] keen to see similar practice from other forces across Wales and the UK."

The force has previously sent officers for sign language training in an attempt to improve communications with deaf people.

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