Thames Valley Police has launched a new protocol which provides better security to visually impaired members of the community who need to identify if a person at their front door is a police officer.
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.
It is very important that police officers and other police employees who come to the door for whatever reason are able to identify themselves. Usually, when officers go to someone’s property, they have an identification card to identify themselves and prove who they are.
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.
The VIP will be in place across Thames Valley and Hampshire police areas.
In short, the 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.
If you care for someone who has a visual impairment, or have any friends, family members or colleagues with a visual impairment, we would encourage you to please highlight the protocol to them.
It’s appreciate that people with a sight impairment may not ordinarily engage with media organisations or on some media platforms, however they may have friends, colleagues or carers that do, and we hope that the content published will reach them too.