The Sun: Cost in translation

Thursday, 30 October, 2008

POLICE spent a record Pounds 22.1million on interpreters last year as the number of foreign offenders soared, it emerged yesterday.

Forces are having to hire agency staff to read immigrant law-breakers their rights and translate for officers questioning them.

Figures show spending mushroomed 63 per cent from Pounds 13.5million in 2003, with even rural forces dealing with 70 languages.

In Northamptonshire the bill rocketed 350 per cent to Pounds 326,000, in Thames Valley it rose 127 per cent to Pounds 182,000 and Greater Manchester's went up 75 per cent to Pounds 956,000. Country areas like Cumbria and Dumfries recorded increases of up to 404 per cent.

Tories claimed the figures highlighted the strain mass immigration was causing cops. Shadow police minister David Ruffley said: "It suggests we are importing more foreign criminals and police budgets are being hit."

The Sun has already told how health chiefs spend Pounds 250k a year translating medical advice.