Peterborough MP On Translation

23 July 2010, 06:00

A Cambridgeshire MP says more than £800,000 a year is spent by local police, just on translation.

In just 12 months, Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson says that's risen by £131,000, and wants the Government to help pay.

But speaking to heart, the Peterborough MP says whilst it is difficult to deal with some languages, there are communities which could be enlisted to help - especially when they're the victims of crime: "The size of the problem is such that central Government needs to look at funding when it prepares the next police grant for 2011/12.  

There are still are some very much problems when police such a diverse community"

Over the past few months Mr Jackson has met with the Immigration Minister and made a speech to the Commons on the pressures facing Peterborough during a  debate facing Peterborough during a debate on the Police Grants.
Mr Jackson added "Peterborough has invested in multi-lingual PCSOs to aid communication with Slovaks, Czechs and Poles but still the translation and interpretation costs are increasing"

A police spokesman said: "The cost (of translations and interpreters) simply reflects the reality of frontline policing - whether it's dealing with criminals or victims.

This is not an optional extra service - we need to provide support for everything from major crime investigations to dealing with people who come through our custody blocks.

Whether you are a victim, witness or suspect, it's not an option to simply say we can't deal with you because your first language isn't English."

Cambridgeshire is a rural county, it is an extremely diverse, with about 100 languages spoken.

Cambridge is an international university city which hosts hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors, and Peterborough, like many other cities, has seen significant increases in economic migration - as well as being a dispersal centre for asylum seekers in recent years.

This presents a need to supply interpretation and translation costs to victims and witnesses of crime as well as those arrested in the county, for whom English is not their first language."