Avon and Somerset police staff learn sign language

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More than 40 Avon and Somerset police officers and members of staff have been taught basic sign language.

A force spokesman said they had learned phrases, directions and the alphabet to help them communicate with deaf people in east Somerset.

The training was conducted by British Sign Language tutors from the Centre for Deaf People in Bristol.

The spokesman said a further 39 staff had completed a three hour introduction to sign language.

Pc Matthew Shaw, from Chard Police Station, who took part in the course, said: "I have dealt with a couple of deaf victims and wanted to be able to communicate better with the deaf people I come into contact with.

"This session will really help and is something they should teach everywhere."

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