Visual Impairments Protocol

What is the Visual Impairments Protocol?

Visually-impaired people contacting West Yorkshire Police are able to check the identity of members of West Yorkshire Police who come to their homes by using the Visual Impairments Protocol. It is called VIP for short.

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.

West Yorkshire Police responded to feedback from the community to put an alternative, but simple process in place. 


Who is it for?

The Visual Impairments Protocol 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.  


How does the Visual Impairments Protocol work?

The Visual Impairments Protocol works as follows. There is also a process map at the bottom of the page. 

  • The person who needs help from West Yorkshire Police contacts either the emergency 999 number, or the non-emergency 101 number to report a crime or other incident. This may either be through telephone, text, typetalk or 101LiveChat.
  • When connected to a member of West Yorkshire Police, they explain that they have a visual impairment.
  • As a result, as well as being given a log number, they will also be asked to select a password of their choice. This will then be given to the officer who will be visiting in response to the request for help.
  • When the officer responds to the incident, they will be asked to give the password.
  • Only through providing the correct password will the officer be allowed into the property.
  • If the officer gives the wrong password, or won't give the password, the officer should not be allowed to come in. The Customer Contact Centre should then be contacted using emergency 999 to ask for immediate police attendance to try and locate the bogus officer. 
  • The same procedure will apply when a member of West Yorkshire Police may be in the area to provide crime prevention advice, or is conducting house-to-house enquiries as part of an investigation. The crime prevention activity or house-to-house enquiry work would have been registered with West Yorkshire Police previously, so a check can be made on whether officers would be expected in the area. A log number would have been generated as a reference point. The member of the public contacts the Customer Contact Centre, and be given the log number in question to check with the officers at the door.


Further Information

If you would like more information on the Visual Impairments Protocol, members of West Yorkshire Police’s Customer Contact Centre would be happy to receive a call using our non-emergency contact information.

Visual Impairments Protocol Process Map

Visual Impairments Protocol Audio Version

Visual Impairments Protocol Large Print

You can also e-mail our Community Engagement Team at [email protected]