Over £1m spent on interpreters by Notts Police in last three years

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Over £1m has been spent on interpreters by Notts Police in the last three years, it can be revealed.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that between 2012 and 2014, a total of £1,125,553 was used towards employing interpreters.

The figures show £384,936 was spent in 2012, £420,895 in 2013 and £319,722 up to November 2014.

The top five languages in 2014 were Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Urdu and Russian.

A Notts Police spokesman said: “Nottinghamshire Police, as with all law enforcement agencies, is obliged by law to provide interpreters for people if their English language skills are not of a sufficient level for an investigation.”

“If providing a witness statement or when being interviewed as a suspect, it is really important that people understand fully their involvement in the process and often interpreters are required for that purpose.”

“Nottinghamshire Police obtains these services from outside providers in the most cost effective way that it can. The use of interpreters is required by law and assists the force in effectively supporting victims and witnesses and in bringing offenders to justice.”

All the costs are based on invoices from a supplier, Notts Police do not have paid employees in the organisation whose role is to solely provide interpreter services.

Police chiefs were unable to reveal how many interpreters were employed across the three years.

The FOI response said: “This information is not recorded in an easily retrievable format. Records relating to this type of information are not held centrally and could potentially be located across more than one department.”

“This would be a huge undertaking and the work necessary to identify the number of translation requests in relation to the specified reasons would certainly exceed 18 working hours.”