06 November 2015
“On some occasions, difficulties with the HMCTS-managed court interpreter contract meant the court was unable to consider bail for detainees who could not speak English. When this happened, the lack of telephone interpreter services meant that custody staff, despite their best efforts, could not explain to detainees what had happened or where they were being taken.”
“We found evidence at some courts of serious consequences for detainees arising from the lack of suitable interpretation services, especially where the HMCTS-commissioned court interpreter service had failed to send an interpreter to court, a situation which could mean the court was unable to consider bail.
‘We noted on several occasions interpreters had not attended court and detainees had been remanded in custody. This had been noted by Lay Observers… These difficulties were compounded because the custody staff had no access to a telephone interpreting service in the custody suites. Consequently, detainees refused bail could be taken to prison without understanding what had happened in court or where they were going.’
(Norfolk and Suffolk)”