West Midlands Police and British Sign Language experts visited Walsall College to offer safety tips to its deaf students.
Officers came to the college’s Wisemore campus to replay messages on personal safety and what constitutes a hate crime.
Through a BSL Interpreter and a Specialist Deaf Lecturer, officers provided guidance and advice on how best to report an offence.
Police Constables Simon Bradley and James Lander launched the approach along with engagement and consultation officer Kevin Pitt. West Midlands Police have already held a number of classes at Walsall College, which included question and answer sessions. More visits are planned for the future, both at the college and schools across the Walsall borough.
Simon said: “We are committed to protecting all members of the community and a disability means you may feel more vulnerable. We are always thinking of better ways of engaging with people and we approached Walsall College around communicating with its deaf students.
“With the assistance of a BSL Interpreter we have managed to give them tips on how to stay safe and different types of crimes. During the sessions the students have felt confident to participate and offer their own thoughts and highlight concerns. They have proven really successful and we are looking at how we may be able to expand upon this approach in the future.”
Rachel Davies, Head of Supported Learning (SLDD) at Walsall College, said: “As a college, we strive to ensure our students develop the life skills to not only find employment and thrive in the workplace, but to keep themselves safe.
Working with the West Midlands Police was a great opportunity to equip students with the tools to safeguard themselves and to identify situations in which they may feel unsafe.
We look forward to working with the West Midlands Police in future to ensure these messages are passed onto our prospective students and young people across the Walsall borough.”