The revised national agreement on the use of interpreters in the Criminal Justice System will give clear guidance on identifying the right mode of access and communication for a deaf person and on finding an appropriate language service professional. The text will be sent to all criminal justice agencies, and it is their responsibility to ensure that the guidance is implemented appropriately.
The Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People already provides a searchable register of language service professionals. The database is available to subscribers on a 24-hour basis. The revised national agreement will provide additional guidance on other sources of language services professionals to assist in communication with deaf people in the criminal justice system.
Section 13 of PACE Code C states that wherever possible, interpreters for the deaf are drawn from the Directory of BSL/English interpreters.
However, we are content to consider amending this Section of PACE Code C in any future revision of the Codes of Practice, and lipspeakers, deaf blind interpreters and speech to text reporters will be added to the Register of Changes which is found on the Home Office PACE Codes web page.
(2) what assessment he has made of the extent to which delays take place in police stations when a deaf detainee is being processed because of the time taken to find a British Sign Language/English interpreter or lipspeaker;
(3) if he will take steps to ensure that all language service professionals attending police stations are provided with (a) the Police and Criminal Evidence Act guidelines Code of Practice A-G and (b) other essential documents of police procedure;
(4) how many people (a) with and (b) without a hearing disability were processed at police stations in the last 12 months.