Translators for foreign criminals have cost £63.8million in three years, figures show
TRANSLATORS for foreign criminals have cost £63.8million in three years, figures show.
Non-English speakers need legal papers translated and require an interpreter for trial proceedings.
Experts were called to help with 253 languages and dialects.
There was £21.6million spent from April 2018 to March 2019, £23.6million the year before and £18.6million in 2016-17.
Polish (£9.6m) and Romanian (£6.2m) topped the list, then Urdu (£4m). Next were the five Arabic tongues, Lithuanian and Bengali.
A total of £14,000 was spent on Bravanese, a language spoken in Somalia, and £16,000 on Acholi, from Uganda. Welsh speakers led to a £23,000 spend.
The Ministry of Justice has to provide interpreters by law.
But Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch UK, blasted the inefficiency and cost of the service.
He said: “Greater care at the border over who is admitted, and a drop in immigration levels would in turn see the cost of translators and interpreters fall.”
In 2013 the MoJ was branded shambolic by MPs for the way it handled the outsourcing of the contract for language services.
Interpreters failing to turn up led to cancelled trials, while others mistranslated evidence.
When the contract was with Capita the firm was blamed for a total of 2,524 trials being halted because an interpreter had failed to show.
In 2016 the responsibility was moved to two different firms.