A community police officer has been awarded level two in British Sign Language after receiving funding from MEPC’s Chineham Park which offers office space in Basingstoke.

Community Beat Manager for Chineham, PC Jim Charlton, decided to take up sign language two years ago after dealing with a harassment case against two deaf people. Jim applied to become one of Hampshire Constabulary’s Police Link Officers for Deaf people (PLOD). PLOD’s act as a point of contact for deaf people within the community, helping to ensure that they have equal access to justice and local police services in general.

After successfully completing level one of the British Sign Language course, Jim decided to progress to level two but needed to find sponsorship to take the advanced course. Jim contacted estate manger at Chineham Park, Richard Hawkes, who agreed that Chineham Park would jointly fund the course in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary.

Richard commented: “Here at Chineham Park, we are always doing what we can to engage with the local community and help out where we can. When I saw Jim’s email, I thought it would be a nice gesture to help with the course funds for him. We are always grateful for the work the Basingstoke and Hampshire police do in making a safer community.”

Jim has now completed the level two sign language course which he has been able to put to good use in a number of different cases that have ranged from parking disputes to taking crime reports.

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