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UK Police Link Officers for Deaf people

960. Emma Gilbert

Emma Gilbert, from Leicestershire, is a Detective Sergeant with the National Crime Agency, who is transforming the way British police serve deaf citizens and volunteers with police forces in South Africa, Kenya, Pakistan and Jamaica to spread her work internationally.

Emma Gilbert

Emma manages the innovative UK Police Link Officers for Deaf people scheme which builds and maintains relationships with the deaf community. She works tirelessly with the DeafKidz International team to address abuse, and exploitation of deaf children overseas by providing educating and training to local police forces. Her important work is ensuring equal access to the police for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and reducing stigma and discrimination.

Emma is one of six volunteers specially recognised to coincide with the Global Disability Summit, co-hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development with the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya and taking place on the 24 July at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. The summit will bring together leaders from the private sector, governments, donor agencies and charities to raise awareness and show a commitment to transform the lives of people with disabilities.

As part of the build-up to the summit, Emma was invited to a roundtable hosted at the Department for International Development by Lord Bates, Minister of State for International Development, and met with Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development, who presented her with her award:

In a personal letter to Emma, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Your work supporting police forces to better serve deaf communities is having a transformative effect both at home and abroad. The training you provide to police forces in South Africa, Kenya, Pakistan and Jamaica is helping people to access police services and is reducing stigma and discrimination.”

Steve Crump, founder and Chief Executive of ‘DeafKidz International’, said:

“We are absolutely delighted. This Point of Light Award for Emma is richly deserved and all of us here at ‘DeafKidz International’ are delighted – as we continue to work to ensure the protection and safeguarding of children worldwide it strengthens us hugely to know we can call upon the support of people like Emma.

“Together we will continue to ensure that no deaf child is ever left behind and that no deaf child ever has to endure the agony of abuse and exploitation. Thank you Emma for all of your hard work.”

Emma said:

“It is very rare I am stuck for words but when I received the news of this award I was literally gobsmacked. Knowing that our work is being spoken about within the UK Ministerial departments which looks to share this practice globally through the Global Disability Summit next week, is just so encouraging. As with any vocation, there are highs when we have been able to achieve our objectives, and there are lows when faced with inflexible systems and ignorance, but we always look forward to our ultimate goal: to protect and safeguard D/deaf children and young people, which is a global issue and not just a UK call for help. Whilst I am very humbled to receive this recognition, I’m not complacent as there is still much work to do within the UK criminal justice system and around the world, a challenge I am prepared to commit to, for as long as it takes.”

Pictured: Emma with Penny Mordaunt MP

Emma Gilbert Penny Mordaunt MP


The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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