Signs are good for Hertfordshire Police

Friday, 13 November, 2009

Hertfordshire Police scooped a prestigious award at a ceremony in London last night.

The constabulary has been recognised at the Signature Annual Awards for its commitment to bridging the communications gap between deaf and hearing people on its beat.

Top brass were on hand to collect the Organisational Achievement award in recognition of the force's initiatives including deaf awareness training, the introduction of Link Officers who aid communication between deaf and hearing people and the launch of the SMS 999 system providing equal access to emergency services for all.

The Signature Annual Awards aim to recognise outstanding achievement by those who, in their own way, have made a significant contribution towards a society in which deaf and deafblind people have full access. The charity administers accredited qualifications throughout the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands at more than 700 locations.

Jim Edwards, Signature Chief Executive, said, "Many police forces across Great Britain are starting to improve the ways they serve the needs of deaf people in the community who may be victims of crime or involved in the criminal justice system. Hertfordshire Constabulary's commitment and innovation has really led the way. They thoroughly deserve this award."

The ceremony took place at the Private Rooms of the Crowne Plaza London-St James where guests enjoyed dinner before the presentation got under way. In all there were five awards given out: the Joseph Maitland Robinson Award for Outstanding Contribution, Communication Professional of the Year, Organisational Achievement, Teacher of the Year and Learner of the Year. Tickets for the event sold out two months in advance.

Jim continued, "This year's awards have been a huge success. Our winners very much deserve all the praise they have received. More than 200 nominations were made across all categories and all our finalists deserve credit for their achievements.

"We're already planning next year's event and look forward to hearing about more people and organisations that are really making a difference for deaf communications and deaf people across the whole of the UK."

Full details of the awards, including those shortlisted at regional level, can be found at:

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