It’s been a busy summer for members of the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team who have joined in the fun with local residents at various community events across the borough.
One such event was the Big Deaf Summer Picnic held in Abington Park on Sunday, August 25, which gives those who can sometimes feel isolated the opportunity to meet new people and make friends.
Joining the families at the picnic were Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) Kerry Parris and Rebecca Evans who wanted to find out the difficulties people with hearing loss face when dealing with the Force.
It was also an opportunity for PCSO Parris to practise her British Sign Language skills as she is BSL Level 3 trained. This is a qualification she has gained through the Police Link Officer for Deaf People programme over the past few years.
PCSO Parris said: “Events such as this are vital for us to attend as it gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how the Force is accessible to all members of the public and pass on crime prevention advice.
“I was able to practise my sign language skills but more importantly, it provided us with the opportunity to understand the difficulties and concerns that the deaf community face when trying to report crimes.
“It is important for the deaf community to know that we have trained officers who can sign, which helps to provide reassurance that we are able to assist them when they need us the most.”
Organised by Carron King, the Big Deaf Summer Picnic is held at various locations. The event is aimed at those who are deaf, hard of hearing, learning to sign and their friends and family.