24 June 2014
Fear of costly migrant influx proves unfounded as translation bill for Cambridgeshire force cut by half
Fears translation service costs for Cambridgeshire police would soar with an influx of migrants seem to have been proved unfounded after it was revealed the bill has almost halved.
Fresh data has now been released by the force showing the cost of translation services in 2012/13 fell to £345,000 from £420,000 in 2011/12 £420,000 and £623,000 the previous year.
The bill is now at its lowest level since the expansion of the EU in 2004 allowed workers to move freely through member states. And fears taxpayers’ would have to pick up the bill when Britain lifted work restrictions to Bulgaria and Romania also proved unfounded in Cambridgeshire.
Data also revealed the force spent just £9.10 on Bulgarian and £1,357.84 on Romanian translators in January last year, when the restrictions were in place – and they have spent nothing at all on translators for the two languages after restrictions were lifted.
Former Chief Constable Julie Spence famously took her fight to central Government in a bid for an extra £17 million to deal with population changes back in 2007.
Mrs Spence said officers were dealing with 100 languages with a translation bill for the force of at least £800,000 in 2006/7, amid fears it would increase. In 2009/10 that bill stood at £809,000.
The most commonly translated languages in the county are Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, Slovak and Lithuanian and the force has some multi-lingual officers on the beat.