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Today (Monday 30 November) Leicestershire Police on behalf of the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) have launched a new national service called the ‘Police approved Interpreter and Translator’ scheme otherwise known as PAIT.
The PAIT system seeks to provide a national database, supported by the regulation of interpreters and translators for all the police services of England and Wales.
It will provide consistency across the UK in the regulation of those interpreters and translators who undertake work for police services. PAIT will provide a layer of reassurance that those assisting the police with investigations or collecting evidence from limited or non-English speakers by stating the qualifications, vetting and experience required.
Leicestershire Police’s Chief Constable Simon Cole, who is the national lead for this scheme, said: "I am extremely grateful to all of those individuals and organisations that gave up their valuable time to assist us in creating a safe, secure and effective system for managing our use of interpreters and translators in the police arena.
"Please be assured that we have listened to your concerns and acted upon them in a way that ensures that police officers from any force in the UK are able to fully utilise the exceptional skills of our family of police interpreters and translators secure in the knowledge that they have the correct qualifications, vetting and experience.
"We have always stated that we are unable to police our towns and counties without the valuable service provided by the skilled and dedicated interpreters and translators who turn out at all hours of the day and night to assist us.”
Ian Fraser, who led the development of the PAIT scheme said: "I want to assure interpreters and translators that we have listened to you and will continue that dialogue moving forward.
"We have acted upon your concerns and as the contracts are awarded on the new Police Dynamic Purchasing System for Language Services we will ensure that suppliers are held to account and regularly audited, that rates paid directly to Interpreters and terms and conditions are attractive and take into account the professional services you supply to the UK Police service."