Response from MPS LCS to PI4J’s email dated 20.04.2016

2016.04.27 Response MPS Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to PI4J

Professional Interpreters for Justice

17 May 2016

Barry Nicholson
Metropolitan Police Service
Language and Cultural Services
8 Floor Empress State Building,
Empress Approach,
Lillie Road,
Earls Court,

Dear Professional Interpreters for Justice

Thank you for your letter dated 20 April 2016 which you sent by e-mail to the Commissioner and myself.

I have responsibility for the delivery of Language Services on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

On behalf of the Commissioner, I have been asked to respond to your letter which outlined your objectives and concerns regarding the provision of interpreting services.

I have noted your comments and concerns regarding the National review of the provision of interpreters for policing and the use of the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) language frameworks.

Thank you for recognising the work of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Language and Cultural Services and for putting us forward as an example to other police forces in the UK to follow. Language and Cultural Services (LCS) have worked hard to maintain quality whilst reducing the overall cost of providing the service for the MPS.

The MPS currently manages a list of suitably qualified interpreters (Approximately 450) who are registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)

As you are aware we meet and communicate regularly with the Society of Metropolitan Police Interpreters (SOMI UK).

This engagement allows a discussion about the current provision of interpreters for the MPS, any proposed changes and to receive feedback from the interpreters representative group of any concerns. I value this opportunity of working with the interpreters to improve the service we deliver.

In order to ensure MPS listed interpreters are kept informed of changes within the MPS and any issues impacting on the delivery of Language Services I wrote to them all in March 2016. I know Members of SOMI UK received a copy of the bulletin as I received feedback from the group.

The content of the bulletin included highlighting the ongoing financial challenges for Public Services (including Police Forces) during the next financial year and to provide some headline news on the volumes of MPS interpreter assignments during the last financial year. The demand for Interpreting services has not changed significantly within the MPS in the last few years.

I also included information of the Collaborative Law Enforcement Programme (CLEP), which also includes Languages.

I have recently been included in the CLEP – Language Board chaired by Chief Constable Simon Cole (Leicestershire Constabulary) where I have the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing debate on Language provision.

The MPS currently manages a list of suitably qualified interpreters and do not use a framework to procure the service for face to face interpreters at this time. No decisions have been made yet to procure the services from a Language framework at this time. However the MPS will have to assess the new frameworks in due course to see if they meet the MPS requirements and provide best value.

I note your concerns and comments regarding the MoJ and CCS Language Framework but feel it is inappropriate for the MPS to comment. I am aware CCS has responded to address concerns raised in your letter.

I will continue to engage and communicate with SOMI UK in order to keep them informed of any potential future changes to the delivery of the MPS Language Service.

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information

Yours sincerely,

Barry Nicholson
MPS Language Services

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