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PCC election: don’t forget the visually impaired
2:00pm Wednesday 14th November 2012 in News
DON’T forget about us - that was the message from members of Bournemouth’s visually impaired community when they met with two of Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidates on Monday.
The RNIB and Bournemouth Society for the Visually Impaired organised a hustings event in Winton, which was attended by Conservative candidate Nick King and Independent, Martin Underhill.
But, just a few days before polling on Thursday, only a handful of people went along.
Members wanted to ensure there was a zero-tolerance policy on disability hate crime, that information and correspondence was produced in accessible formats and that issues with cars parking on pavements and people cycling on pavements were addressed.
Tara Melton, from the RNIB, said: “We need to make sure that the information that people want is available in the format they need, such as Braille.”
Adrian Tamasan, RNIB campaigns co-ordinator, said more information needed to be provided in large print.
Vehicles parking on pavements was raised as a major issue for those with a visual impairment.
Mr Underhill said: “It’s an issue in certain areas, it’s getting out of hand.”
Ms Melton added: “People are walking into roads and it is dangerous. A lot of people do it (park on pavements) and don’t think about the impact of it.”
She also said that cycling on pavements was a problem for those with sight problems.
Mr King said: “People expect that if there’s a law it should be enforced and it’s currently not.”
Mr Underhill added: “It’s also a huge issue for the visually impaired and people with children.”
People at the meeting also said that feeling safe going out at night was a worry for people with sight problems and disabilities.
Mr King said: “There seems to be no involvement from groups that represent these people in the community and the police.
“We should be making sure that whoever becomes police commissioner is invited back once a year to make sure members feed back to that person. Whoever is police commissioner is going to have to take feedback from the people of Dorset.”
Mr Underhill added: “Each group is important and we have to represent all parts of the community. We need to be meeting you at least once a year and other vulnerable groups.”
Labour candidate Rachel Rogers and Lib Dem Andy Canning did not attend the meeting.