Monidipa Fouzder’s report on interpreting is, as usual, telling in this still neglected field.

My only cavil is to read of Capita’s delivery of interpreting services ever being described as a success. As previously identified, the Ministry of Justice merely parrots Capita’s self-interested and specious claims of improvements.

Speak to those who continue to log serial non-delivery and mediocrity in our courts and they will laugh at you.

Why are those of us who have campaigned so long and hard over this less than surprised that Capita is bowing out?

As identified at a recent Foreign Affairs Committee session by chair John Baron, the importance of an interpreter’s role goes far beyond domestic considerations. A recognition of such an underpinning need as proper interpreting provision at the time of the Iraqi misadventure might at least have mitigated the disaster which then ensued.

police interpreter suppliers

The Ministry of Justice has spent nearly £70,000 on translators at Crawley Magistrates' Court over the last five financial years.

They were used on a total of 716 occasions, at a combined cost of £68,923 and between them helped to translate court proceedings for defendants and witnesses into 39 different foreign languages.

More than a quarter of those jobs (183) involved interpreting English into Polish and back again.

The number of times proceddings have had to be translated into Polish has increased sharply in recent years.

In the 2012/13 financial year there were only three occasions where Polish translators were needed.

A year later that figure had jumped up to 28, before rocketing up to 65 in 2014/15 and there was another rise in 2015/16 to 68.

In April, May and June of this year there have been a further 19 court hearings at Crawley Magistrates' Court, on Woodfield Road in Northgate, that have involved a Polish translator.

The Ministry of Justice spent £19,458 on these 183 jobs over the five financial years.

The Government department has a language services contract with Capita-TI for the provision of all forms of face-to-face, telephone and written translation across the United Kingdom, including cases in Crawley.

The case of a man who is accused of raping a woman on Cathedral Green in Exeter has been adjourned to he can be helped by a Italian interpreter.

Manuel Riscu, aged 42, had been due to appear at Exeter Crown Court accused of rape but the case was put off for two weeks because no Italian interpreter was present.

Mr Lee Bremridge, defending, said the language difficulties meant he had been unable to take any instructions from his client or hold any meaningful discussion.

Recorder Mr Andrew Maitland adjourned the case for two weeks and remanded Riscu in custody.

The Leeds-headquartered international language services company set to take over from Capita to provide courtroom interpreting in October is looking to hire more than 3,500 language experts.

Thebigword today announced that it has signed a contract worth up to £120m to provide face-to-face and telephone interpreting and translations to the Ministry of Justice from 31 October.

The business employs more than 550 people across 11 offices and says it already has 8,000 linguists.

Now that the contract has been signed, thebigword says it will recruit more than 100 new support staff at its Leeds office and more than 3,500 language experts.

Thebigword chief executive Larry Gould said (pictured): ‘The MoJ decided to work with us because we have the experience, infrastructure and word-class technology.