How qualified are Capita's police interpreters?
I attended St Annes Street Police Station in Liverpool today for an interview requiring a Vietnamese interpreter having confirmed at 8.10 that said interpreter was attending at 9.30. When I arrived I was told by the custody officer that ALS/Capita had called at 9.20 to say the interpreter was no longer available and they wouldn't be able to supply one until 7 this evening.
The custody officer was no more happy than I was and had instituted some sort of escalation procedure. He then explained to me that there are differing grades of interpreter available and they might have to go for someone less qualified. I now understand that the top level can interpret both written and spoken versions of the language. The next level down can only translate orally. I am unsure what the lowest level can do - point out Vietnam on a map?? Possible grounds for appeal if interpreter assistance in police interview was inadequate? Savings in the system? - ho ho ho!
Incidentally, prior to qualifying as a solicitor, I was a police custody officer and we rarely had difficulties using NRPSI system!