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Thursday, 31 March 2022

Criminal court statistics quarterly: October to December 2021


31 March 2022

Criminal court statistics quarterly: October to December 2021



"the interpreter that was ordered has not attended"


31st March 2022

A Celtic midfielder had his dangerous driving trial postponed today as he did not have an interpreter. […]

Edward Targowski QC, defending, said: “There is a difficulty this morning as the Hebrew interpreter that was ordered has not attended and there is no other interpreter present.

“The motion is that the case should be adjourned.”

Sheriff Paul Reid replied: “If that’s the case, then so be it.”

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Calls for interpreters to become legal requirement for NHS providers


24 March 2022

Calls for interpreters to become legal requirement for NHS providers

Health watchdogs are calling for interpreters to be made a legal requirement for all healthcare settings after a survey exposed worrying gaps in the service.

As part of national research, Healthwatch Norfolk quizzed people with English as their second language about their experiences of accessing healthcare in the county.

The study found a number of concerning difficulties felt by these people as they attempted to use of health services in the region.

Among them was a Russian woman who felt she could not ask the right questions and a Romanian man who said he "never" received interpretation at his GP.

Participants also raised concerns that they were forced to enlist the help of friends or neighbours to interpret for them - meaning sharing intimate, personal details about medical conditions.

As a result of the findings, bosses at the watchdog are calling for interpreters to be made a legal requirement in all healthcare settings and for a co-ordinated translation service to be set up across all levels of health and social care.

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, said: "This report does not make comfortable reading, especially set against the context of the imminent arrival of refugees from Ukraine.

"We have heard from patients who are having to share intimate medical details with members of their community as the only means of being able to communicate with their doctor, as well as general concerns about interpreter access.

"This is a big hurdle towards offering equal healthcare for all.

"People's language and nationality should not be a barrier to getting help. Putting the requirement for translation in law will help ensure people will get the care they need - regardless of their nationality.

"There is also the wide-ranging issue which we come across regularly of different departments and areas of health and social care not talking to each other.

"As we move towards greater integration, this is the ideal time to have a system that flags up individual patient needs and ensures they are met at every level of their healthcare journey.

"The days of asking a friend or neighbour to translate intimate and personal medical information must end."

Case studies

A Russian woman living in Norfolk told the survey: "I have regular consultations every three months and the conversation is very short and usually the same.

"Sometimes I feel like they treat you as if you are in a slaughterhouse. One comes, one goes.

"I do not feel I am in safe hands but I have no other options.

"Although my appointments are routine, sometimes I may have questions that I want to ask, but I cannot because I wouldn't know how to say it in English - so I keep quiet."

A Romanian man who also participated, added: "At the GP surgery, we never receive an interpreter. At the hospital, we do manage to have one all the time. Even over the phone we get an interpreter."


Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Gaps in language support create barriers to accessing justice and rehabilitation, new research finds


15 March 2022 

Gaps in language support create barriers to accessing justice and rehabilitation, new research finds

A new report, Language barriers in the criminal justice system, carried out by Victim Support, the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research (ICPR), the Centre for Justice Innovation and funded by The Bell Foundation, found victims who speak English as a second or additional language (ESL) often struggled to communicate important information to law enforcement and were not given the language support they needed during crucial encounters with the criminal justice system.

In one example, an alleged perpetrator who spoke English as a first language was able to interrupt conversations between the victim and police, causing confusion, and resulting in the victim being mistakenly arrested for the crime she was trying to report. Victim Support say this is a particularly concerning experience amongst the ESL victims it supports.

The right to free language support when reporting a crime or being interviewed by the police is stipulated in the Victim’s Code of Practice – which sets out how victims should be treated during interactions with the criminal justice system. However, the research found this right is not always being upheld. […]


Report: https://www.bell-foundation.org.uk/app/uploads/2022/03/Language-barriers-in-the-criminal-justice-system.pdf


Monday, 14 March 2022

"no Romanian interpreter"


14 March 2022

[…] Irimia spoke to only to confirm his name but was unable to enter pleas to the charges he faces as there was no Romanian interpreter to follow the proceedings.

Anna Soubry, defending, said Irimia had indicated an intention to enter guilty pleas but she needed an adjournment for a Romanian interpreter to be found.


Friday, 4 March 2022

PQ: 4 March 2022


Interpreters and Translation Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th March 2022.

Dan Carden Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of protecting the titles of interpreters and translators in law.

Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Matters of professional titles and what qualifications and skills a person needs for entry to a profession are for employers and professional bodies. The Department for Education has no role in such matters.

There are a range of interpreting and translating qualifications available to learners to facilitate access to interpreting and translating professions, some of which are approved for public funding. Eligibility for funding will depend on individual circumstances and prior learning.