‘Sorry, I’m Dead, it’s Too Late Now’: Barriers Faced by D/deaf Citizens When Accessing Police Services

Karen Lumsden* (Corresponding Author), Alex Black

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Police organisations have been slow with regards to the integration of services which are accessible and responsive to the needs of D/deaf citizens. This qualitative study explored the barriers which D/deaf citizens face when accessing police. It considered the impact of police initiatives designed to widen the avenues through which D/deaf people can contact them including information and communication technologies (i.e. Emergency SMS Text Services and Video Relay Services) and interpreters. The study involved focus groups with D/deaf citizens, interviews with police officers, and a review of police practices in England. The findings focus on cultural, technological and interactional barriers, and demonstrate that despite indications that members of this community are likely to be vulnerable in terms of victimisation, current policies, procedures and training do not address access requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-495
Number of pages20
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number3
Early online date13 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by College of Policing/HEFCE Policing Knowledge Fund. [Grant Number J04].


  • access
  • criminal justice
  • D/deaf
  • interpreter
  • police
  • technology


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