Lancashire Police have launched a new protocol to help visually impaired people in the county to identify police officers calling at their home.
The protocol can be used by anyone with a visual impairment of any degree, or by anyone who cares for or supports a visually impaired person.
It is important that police officers and staff who call at someone’s address can identify themselves.
But while all police staff carry official ID, it can be difficult for someone with a visual impairment to make out the photograph and details on the identification or warrant card.
A new protocol now allows the safeguarding of visually impaired people.
If a visually impaired member of the community requests a visit from Lancashire Police – to report a crime or as a witness – they can arrange with the Force Control Room to be given a one-time password.
That password will be shared with the attending officer who must then give the password when asked for it by the visually impaired person.
A second part of the protocol is for unplanned visits by police officers – for example, if officers are conducting house-to-house enquiries in an area.
To check the attending officers’ identification, service users can contact the Force Control Room and check the collar number provided by the officer at the door.
Accessibility for all
Detective inspector Bryony Midgley of Lancashire Police said: “Lancashire has a diverse community, and we want to make sure that we are accessible to everyone.
“We have worked alongside Galloway’s Society for the Blind which is a charity for visually impaired people in the Preston area, and with other members of the visually impaired community within Lancashire to develop this protocol.
“If a member of the visually impaired community needs to have contact with the police, whether as a victim of crime or they have witnessed something, we can set up the one-time password.
“The officer attending will have that password and will identify themselves using it so a visually impaired service user will feel safe when interacting with the police.
“Our visually impaired community have a wide range of conditions and sight impairment which does not preclude them from being a witness or victim of crime.
“This protocol is a positive service for the visually impaired community in Lancashire.”
If a visually impaired person wants the attendance of an officer at their home and wishes to use the one-time password protocol, they can call 101.