Nottinghamshire Police is the first force in the country to provide a British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting service to enable the Deaf community to report crimes via a mobile device or tablet.
The service, which is being launched in July 2019, will allow Deaf BSL users to contact the police force through an app on their phone, which will make a live video call to a fully qualified interpreter, who will relay the call to the hearing agent.
The service is available instantly on tablets, smartphones, computers and laptops via the SignVideo app and software.
Nottinghamshire Police’s Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Nottinghamshire Police is committed to making crime reporting accessible to all its users, and to ensure that it is as easy-to-use as possible and is accessible for everyone in our community.
“The launch of SignVideo is a big step forward and having seen how the new services will work, it can only be beneficial to the local Nottinghamshire deaf community.”
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “It’s important that everyone is able to report a crime in the way that is most convenient to them. This app will help many people who are deaf or hard of hearing to use their phone or tablet to report a crime, using their preferred language.
“We are always trying to find ways to make our services more accessible, and this is a prime example.”
SignVideo Chair and Founder Jeff McWhinney added, “We are so proud to be working with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure Deaf BSL users have the same experience as hearing people when it comes to crime reporting. This is an important step in driving equality and will bring huge benefits to the local Deaf community.”
The new service can be used by visiting the force’s website or by downloading the SignVideo app.