ALS linguist travels 470 miles, refuses to interpret in cells
On 03/04, while working for a solicitors firm in Winchester, I was asked why it was not possible for me to attend a court hearing for the defendants I had previously interpreted for. As ALS are now in charge of all court hearings, it was obvious why it was no longer possible. The solicitor was not happy with the ALS Lithuanian interpreter who was booked for the last hearing. She had no idea about the quality of his performance, of course, as nobody except the defendant spoke the language. The problem, however, was the interpreter's refusal to go to the cells both before and after the hearing. Obviously, the solicitor was not able to get instructions from her client nor talk to him afterwards.
The said ALS interpreter seemed to be in a hurry, he rushed from the Court straight away. The Court knew he had come from somewhere in the North. Later I got to know, that L.A. (the name is known) has no linguistic qualifications and he lives in Liverpool! He had to cover 470 miles to go to Winchester and back!
The well-known ALS statement about the numbers of qualified interpreters and their ability to supply every court with all language interpreters within 25 miles radius is not even funny any more. Brighton Magistrates' even call interpreters from Manchester, 520 miles a return journey. How long will this madness continue? There's no improvement whatsoever and both availability and quality of ALS bilinguals is appalling.