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Police: Interpreters

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance is issued to police forces on the provision of (a) sign language interpreters and (b) lipspeakers for hearing-impaired people detained or questioned by the police. (177213)

Guidance is contained in the “National Agreement on arrangements for the use of interpreters, translators and language service professionals in investigations and proceedings within the criminal justice system”. Annex C and D of the National Agreement give detailed guidance on how to source the appropriate language service professionals when a registered one is not available and how to identify the right mode of communication with a person who has a hearing impairment. Copies of the National Agreement have been placed in the Library. Additional guidance is issued in individual force areas at the discretion of the chief officer.