Courts: Translation Services
6 Sep 2012
Mike Freer (Finchley and Golders Green, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many court hearings have been adjourned due to an appropriate interpreter not being supplied by Applied Language Solutions in the latest period for which figures are available.
Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald, Conservative)
The Department does not centrally hold information on the number of all adjournments due to an interpreter not being provided. Information is available on the number of ineffective trials in Court Statistics Quarterly.
These show that in January to March 2012 out of the 43,110 trials in the magistrates courts, 182 (3%) were ineffective due to interpreter availability. Of the 10,555 trials in the Crown Court, 10 (0.7%) were ineffective for the same reason.
The Department also published statistics about the operation of the Framework Agreement with Applied Language Solutions (ALS) in May. These show that of the 26,059 initial requests for language services 11% were either cancelled by the Courts and Tribunal Service, or the person for whom the translation service has been requested failed to attend. Of the remaining 23,234 request ALS were able to fulfil 18,719 or 81% of the assignments. However, presenting a single quarterly figure hides a very marked trend over the three months of increasing success rates for requests for translators.
During the first month (30 January to 29 February 2012) of the contract ALS were able to fulfil 65% of requests for translations services, this increased to 82% in March 2012, and increased to 90% in April 2012.
All these statistics are published on the Department's website.