New protocol to protect visually impaired people answering their door to the police


Password system should protect people who might not be able to clearly see identification cards

Thames Valley Police is today introducing a new protocol aimed at protecting visually impaired people when answering the door to a member of the force.   By utilising an agreed password the householder will be given confidence the person at their door saying they are from Thames Valley Police is legitimate.

The Visual Impairment Protocol (VIP) applies to anyone with a visual impairment, whether with full blindness, with a guide dog, or with any sight-impaired condition.  It can also be used by anyone who cares for, or supports, someone who is visually impaired.

The importance of checking the credentials of people calling at your door is widely known.   Police officers and other police employees are able to identify themselves, usually using an identification card.

However, it isn’t as easy for visually impaired people who may not be able to see a photograph or name on an identification card clearly.   VIP works by setting up a password system at the address of a visually-impaired member of the community. When an individual calls either 101 or 999 and informs the call handler that they have a sight impairment, a password of their choice will be agreed.

When an officer then visits that address, they will be expected to state the password to the person answering the door. If they cannot give the password, then they should not be allowed into the address.

Thames Valley Police have launched the scheme which is now operational.   They suggest anyone who cares for someone who has a visual impairment, or has any friends, family members or colleagues with a visual impairment, should highlight the protocol to them.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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