asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with the British Deaf Association concerning the code of practice on the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by the police under the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act; why safeguards sought by the association for deaf suspects were not included in the code; and if he will meet the association to discuss its concern about the code.
The Department has considered proposals put forward by the British Deaf Association for amending the provisions of the code of practice. It has throughout been our objective to ensure that the code provides essential safeguards for the rights of deaf people questioned by the police without subjecting the police to unduly rigid or unnecessary requirements. We believe the draft which has now been laid before Parliament strikes a proper balance. I would be happy to meet the right hon. Member together with representatives of the association to discuss their concern.