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.
Why is it important?
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 is in place across Thames Valley and Hampshire police areas.
How does the Visual Impairment Protocol work?
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.