Fees charged by police forces for interpreters revealed
West Yorkshire Police will spend more than £2.5m of tax payers money on interpreters over the next four years.
The eye-watering sum of cash will be out sourced to a commercial agency, Language Limited Empire, based in Rochdale.
Interpreters are needed to help prisoners in custody as well as providing support to victims and witnesses and are needed to meet the needs of the growing migrant community.
The contract, which started in April, means West Yorkshire Police will now have access to speakers of 51 languages, including some of the most under-represented European, African and Asian languages.
Figures from police.co.uk, which used Home Office data, show that West Yorkshire Police pays £124 for four hours face-to-face interpreting.
The minimum is for one hour at £31 an hour. No travel or expenses are chargable.
Nationally the fee varies with Essex Police paying the least at £86 for four hours while Derbyshire Constabulary forks out £154.
A West Yorkshire police spokesman said: “Interpreter services in West Yorkshire were procured as part of an EU compliant exercise run by Regional Procurement to ensure business needs and operational requirements were met while maximising efficiency.
“The interpreter function includes a range of services including telephone and face-to-face contact together with specialist services for people with hearing difficulties and more.”
The most common languages requested according to the National Register of Public Service Interpreters are Polish, Urdu, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Romanian, French, Farsi (Persian), Mandarin and Portuguese.