Thames Valley Police recently launched the Visual Impairment Protocol (VIP). It applies to anyone who is blind or visually impaired. It can also be used by anyone who cares for, or supports, someone who is visually impaired.
Normally, when officers go to someone’s home, they have an identification card which can be shown to 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 will be in place across the Thames Valley and Hampshire police areas. It works by setting up a password system at the address of a visually impaired person. When someone calls either 101 or 999 and tells the emergency dispatcher that they have vision loss, a password of their choice will be agreed between the caller and the dispatcher. Then when an officer 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.
Thames Valley Police has urged people who care for someone who has a visual impairment, or have any friends and family with such a condition, to make them aware of the new password system.