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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

PQ - 28 October 2014


28 October 2014
Home Office

Ian Swales (Redcar, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether G4S records (a) telephone calls made to it by asylum seekers who have ended the call as they have not been able to explain that they need an interpreter and (b) all other telephone calls received in connection with its contract to deliver accommodation for asylum seekers.

James Brokenshire (Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration); Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative)
All providers are required under the COMPASS contracts to provide a minimum level of support to asylum seekers accommodated in their properties, this includes briefing the service user in a language that they understand, on how to contact the provider and the Home Office to make complaints.
G4S does make a record of all telephone calls they receive from asylum applicants accommodated in their property and refers service users to their interpreters where it is clear that an interpreter is required.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Scotland: Court interpreters in demand in far north


Court interpreters in demand in far north
Wick Sheriff Court has required the use of foreign speaking interpreters seven times to carry out criminal cases during this year.
A freedom of information request from the Scottish Court Service has revealed between January and August 2014, Wick Sheriff Court has required Polish and Mandarin translators on seven occasions to carry out criminal cases.
Cases have included two assaults, two assaults to injury and two drug offences along with an offence of the Criminal Justice & Licensing Act.
Other foreign nationals have appeared at Wick Sheriff Court this year but have not required the use of an interpreter.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Scotland: Charity's fear over sex fiend interpreter


Charity's fear over sex fiend interpreter
A charity that supports women affected by sexual abuse has expressed "deep concern" after it emerged a convicted sex attacker acted as a translator for vulnerable female asylum seekers.
The Evening Times exclusively revealed last night that Misrak Eyob has access to asylum seekers represented by city lawyers Katani and Co.
The 24-year-old Eritrean was jailed for four years in 2009 for attempted rape and told he must be supervised for a further two years on his release.
Dawn Fyfe, director of Glasgow-based Say Woman, said: "We would be concerned that someone who has a conviction for sex offending would not only have access to survivors of sexual abuse but would be responsible for interpreting their experiences.
"We would hope that any organisation which has any- thing to do with vulnerable people would take every step to ensure that they are not put at risk."
It is understood Eyob, who works on a freelance basis, is not on the Scottish Legal Aid Board's register.
The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) pays up to £30 an hour for interpretation services.
Solicitors are reimbursed for the money they spend on translators.
A SLAB spokesman said: "It is the solicitor's duty to ensure that the interpreter is appropriate and suitably qualified."
The majority of Eritreans who seek asylum in the UK are given legal aid and immigration lawyers Katani and Co earned more than half a million pounds from SLAB last year alone.
The Evening Times understands the watchdog responsible for regulating Scotland's solicitors is likely to be in touch with Katani and Co following our revelations.
A spokeswoman at the Law Society of Scotland urged clients to complain if they have concerns.
She said: "It's important for clients and the public to be able to have complete faith in their solicitor."
Misrak Eyob attacked a 35-year-old woman in July 2009 in Royston.
During his trial he blamed 'the devil' for his actions.
Eyob, who had been in Scotland seven months at the time of the attack, was found guilty and jailed for four years.
Judge Sean Murphy QC also ordered that Eyob be supervised for a further two years on his release.
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Registered sex offenders are supervised in the community via the Multi- Agency Public Protection Arrangements, also known as MAPPA.
"Either police or social work staff will take the lead on monitoring an individual, depending on the circumstances of a particular case.
"From a social work perspective such individuals are considered as clients of social work services and we therefore have a legal duty to respect their confidentiality.
"We cannot discuss an individual case."
A Scottish Government spokeswoman also declined to comment on Misrak Eyob's case but said: "Any person receiving a sentence of more than two and a half years is required to tell employers about their past offending when going for a job.
"This ensures employers can know about a person's background when deciding whether to employ them.
"Such offenders are worked with on an individual basis to ensure effective risk management, public protection, harm reduction, and rehabilitation."
A spokeswoman for Katani and Co declined to comment. Misrak Eyob could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Jewellery raid preliminary hearing adjourned until tomorrow as Romanian interpreter could not be found

21 October 2014

Jewellery raid preliminary hearing adjourned until tomorrow as Romanian interpreter could not be found
A preliminary hearing for three men facing charges of burgling the Leslie Davis jewellers has been adjourned until tomorrow.
Bogdan Acsinte, aged 27, of Colegrave Road, Stratford, London; Robert Caia, aged 27, of Prosser Street, Wolverhampton; and Gheorghe Cretu, aged 26, of no fixed abode, were charged with conspiracy to commit a burglary other than a dwelling with intent to steal.
The charge relates to a conspiracy to burgle a number of jewellers between August 1 and October 16, in which offenders entered as a trespasser with intent to steal at Swag Jewellers, Beaverbrooks, Ernest Jones and Gordon Scotts in Watford, Hertfordshire, on August 29 2014 and Leslie Davies Jewellers in Milton Keynes on Thursday (October 16).
But despite being scheduled to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court this afternoon, the case was adjourned until tomorrow morning as a Romanian interpreter could not be found to translate for them during proceedings.
They were remanded in custody overnight to appear again tomorrow morning.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Serious case review into baby’s death in Peterborough

19 October 2014

Murder: Serious case review into baby’s death in Peterborough
Bosses at the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) have been asked to ensure information is available in foreign languages following the murder of a Lithuanian baby.
Safeguarding bosses in Peterborough have asked for assurances translation services at the Bretton hospital are available for patients who speak foreign languages.
The call came after the death of Aukse Medvedevaite who was less than two months old when she was murdered by her father, Aurimas Medvedevas (23) at their home in Clifton Avenue, West Town, Peterborough on 5 September 2014.
In their review of the case, published this week, the PSCB said: “The PSCB should seek reassurance from the Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that key information is available, and is distributed, in the main languages which correspond with the population mix in its catchment area.”
The report said all the documentation given to Aukse’s mother, Dzesika Urbikaite, was in English, which she found difficult to understand, and no interpreter was ‘engaged’ during her interaction with health professionals.
Sam Hunt, Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our antenatal clinic teams are clear on the need to offer both interpreters and translated patient information to women if they suspect this would have a greater benefit, even to those women and their partners who speak a fairly reasonable standard of English.”
The report said the death of Aukse could not have been predicted by any agency, and midwife and GP services given to the baby and her mother, was appropriate.
The report added when Aukse arrived at accident and emergency on the day of her death, the ‘immediate procedures, emergency response, and support for the family were all carried out in an appropriate and professional manner.’
Communication with police important
Along with raising issues about translation, the report also said: “The PSCB should seek clarification that Police and other agencies are notified as soon as possible in regards to all Sudden Unexpected Childhood Deaths and that there is no practice or procedure which could potentially create a delay in making such a referral.”
Sam Hunt said: “We are reviewing our procedures around Sudden Unexplained Childhood Deaths and will work with our frontline staff to ensure they are made fully aware of any changes.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police added: “We welcome the publication of the serious case review and will be working with partner agencies to ensure its recommendations are carried out.”
Aurimas Medvedevas was given a life sentence, and told he would serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars after admitting the murder of his defenceless baby.
A court heard Aukse had suffered injuries comparable with a car crash in a brutal assault.
He originally denied murder, but part way through a trial at the Old Bailey in London made the dramatic guilty pleas.