Deaf News: Northamptonshire Police becomes first force in UK to introduce British Sign Language interpretation service

Posted on March 24, 2014



Northamptonshire Police has become the first force in the country to offer an innovative service that gives on-demand access to fully qualified British Sign Language interpreters – at the click of a button.

The service is aimed at improving access for those who rely on, or prefer using, sign language.

Those using the service will be able to access interpreters in seconds via a secure video link, who will then relay the call to the 101 operators on their behalf.

Lynn Coppin of Northamptonshire Police said: “I’m delighted that we are further improving access to our service by enhancing what we already have in place – the Disability Line and Keep Safe.

“The force has recognised that British Sign Language users find it difficult to contact us by telephone. To overcome this communication barrier, we have teamed up with SignVideo to offer what is called the BSL Live service.

“There is no need to register for the service – a computer with a webcam and internet connection is all that are required.”

Jeff McWhinney, Founder and CEO of SignVideo (a supporter of this site) said:

“Northamptonshire Police are to be commended for being the first Police force to offer such a service. We are delighted that Northamptonshire Police are making this positive step to become more inclusive & accessible to Deaf BSL users, who can now be confident in calling the 101 service via fully qualified BSL interpreters, opening up access to the force for those who rely on sign language to communicate. Deaf people like myself look forward to this initiative being taken up by other police forces.”

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Posted in: deaf news