Interpreter costs rise for police

SUFFOLK police spent more than £220,000 on interpreters in 2006/07, new figures reveal today. Between April 2006 and March 2007, £222,843 was spent on paying for interpreters for foreign crime suspects, victims and witnesses as part of investigations.

SUFFOLK police spent more than £220,000 on interpreters in 2006/07, new figures reveal today.

Between April 2006 and March 2007, £222,843 was spent on paying for interpreters for foreign crime suspects, victims and witnesses as part of investigations.

The 06/07 figure, the latest available, represents a sharp rise of £47,122 from the previous year and shows costs have more than trebled in six years.

In all since 2001, police in Suffolk have spent £818,237 on providing interpreters.


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This cost does not include interpreters used in the court system.

Police believe the rising financial burden is principally down to increased ethnic diversity in Suffolk.

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A spokesman for the force said: “The figures cover interpreter costs for victims and witnesses as well as offenders.

“The service is essential to ensure justice for victims of crime and fair treatment for suspects.

“Suffolk Constabulary aims to provide people with the highest quality policing service through the Suffolk First For You initiative.

“One of the initiative's key aims is to make sure that everyone we have contact with feels we have listened and communicated effectively with them.

“The increase also reflects the greater diversity of the communities we have in Suffolk."

Nationally, around £20million is spent on providing interpreters.

An interpreter usually earns around £40 as an attendance fee and more than £20 an hour after that.

Police also have to cover transport and accommodation costs, where necessary.

Could the cash used to pay for interpreters be better spent elsewhere? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The cost to Suffolk police of paying for interpreters

2001/02 - £68,382

2002/03 - £97,224

2003/04 - £108,832

2004/05 - £145,233

2005/06 - £175,233

2006/07 - £222,843

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