Julie Platts: How the BDA’s Terry Riley helped support links between Deaf people and the police in Leicestershire

Posted on September 26, 2014



I am just writing to thank Terry Riley OBE (representing the British Deaf Association) for coming to our hometown of Leicestershire on Wednesday night and promoting the ‘PLOD’ (Police Link Officers for Deaf people) scheme we have in place.

As you may or may not be aware, a very serious crime was committed resulting in a Deaf family/friend being brutally murdered early this year and since then, there have been huge changes to improve the levels of service Deaf people receive from the police.

Prior to the murder, there was already support being set up but even more so now.

Upon arriving at the venue (held last night at Leicester’s police station HQ), I found myself watching speeches from police officers using sign language.

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Over 20 Police officers have gone out of their way to learn Level 1 BSL all the way through to Level 6 in their own time which is lovely to see.

Their overall objectives are to improve the access Deaf people have to policing services, breaking down barriers and building a strong foundation between Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind members of the community.

A BDA BSL charter was signed to promise more support for Deaf people within Leicestershire by Terry Riley, Chair of the BDA, and the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police.

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Terry was a breath of fresh air, witty and he had a very good sense of humour.

After talking to the people of Leicester, everybody felt overwhelmed by the amount of positives that came from the meeting and that Terry had happily come all the way even though we almost made him miss his train back home!

I was secretly star struck too and had no qualms about asking for a sneaky picture too!

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I am really pleased that things are moving forward and we are finally getting some recognition and support. Go on Leicester!

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