British coppers let foreign suspects walk free — no interpreters!

Foreign crime suspects are being allowed to walk free from police custody before questioning because of a shortage of interpreters caused by cost-cutting. The problem is being blamed on a Ministry of Justice-backed interpreter service which police sources say is failing to provide interpreters fast enough.

The scheme was supposed to save West Midlands Police £750,000 every year. But it has forced officers to release some arrested foreign suspects on bail because they cannot get interpreters.

In one case, it took West Midlands Police two weeks to find an interpreter for someone who volunteered to make a statement in an Asian language. In some instances, the force has had to bring in more expensive interpreters from Leeds and Manchester…

One source said a number of former police interpreters will not assist the force again, claiming they were treated poorly. “The company are recruiting some more people but it has not been what was hoped,” the source said…

A police spokesman said in all cases where the suspect had been released on police bail they had returned to the station to answer questions at a later date.

So, even if the beancounters are doing their best to screw-up police work – at least the criminals are continuing to cooperate with the process as if someone in government actually knew what they were doing.

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