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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

PSNI launch partnership with RNIB Northern Ireland

(L-R) Constable Yendall, Constable Elliott, Tori Tennant, Dawn Hopper, Constable McIlvenny-Aakhus and Inspector Adair.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched a partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People Northern Ireland (RNIB NI).


The initiative will actively increase awareness and understanding of sight loss within the Police Service of Northern Ireland and increase engagement with the sight loss community to deliver important public safety messaging.


Police and Crime Prevention officers will liaise directly with those affected by sight loss, to offer advice on home safety, scams, hate crime as well as a range of other topics.



At the same time, the sight loss charity, will ensure police have access to best practice guidelines to ensure they can best meet the needs of the 57,500 blind and partially sighted members of the public currently living in Northern Ireland today.


Speaking of the partnership, Assistant Chief Constable, Bobby Singleton, Local Policing, said:


“We are delighted to team up with RNIB on what is set to be a very beneficial partnership. It is very important that our officers and staff have a sound understanding and knowledge of the experiences of the sight loss community in Northern Ireland and this will ensure that officers liaise with them in the most appropriate way possible using best practice.



“Through this initiative, we will gain valuable understanding which will assist teams when they are out in neighbourhoods and serving the community.

“We will be taking part in a range of Q&A sessions to offer advice on crime prevention which we hope will ensure those who are blind or partially sighted feel safe,” added ACC Singleton.


(L-R) Constable McIlvenny-Aakhus and Dawn Hopper.

RNIB Country Director in Northern Ireland, Robert Shilliday, said:


“The important public messaging often taken for granted by sighted people, can be completely missed by those who don’t read standard print or who access their communications in different ways to the majority of the population.


“Therefore, I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to work with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in this way. Our mutual objectives are to raise awareness of current crime prevention advice amongst the sight loss community, whilst also raising awareness of sight loss within the PSNI who work in our communities.



“The topics of information and advice covered will include home security, scams, personal and physical safety, hate crime and how best to contact the police. Over the next six months and beyond, we’ll work to create opportunities whereby blind and partially sighted people can engage with PSNI Crime Prevention Officers and receive the information they need and learn more about the support provided by PSNI.


“At RNIB we’re determined to remove the barriers that exist for blind or partially sighted people here in Northern Ireland, and so I relish this opportunity to work with PSNI in this way. It’s vital that the sight loss community have the advice and information provided by PSNI in a way that ultimately means they feel as safe and empowered as possible.”

 


For more information on the Police Service of Northern Ireland go to https://www.psni.police.uk


For more information on sight loss support services call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 1239999 or visit https://www.rnib.org.uk/northernireland

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