Police Spend £40 million on Translators in Just Three Years

Robert Watts, Telegraph (London), May 26, 2013

London’s Metropolitan Police paid out £7.1 million on decifering 97 languages including the African dialects of Wolof, Yoruba and Oromo.

Rural constabularies have also spent substantial sums on language services. Thames Valley Police’s bill for translators and interpreters has exceeded £1 million in each of the past three years.

Forces in Kent, Norfolk and Lincolnshire have at times spent more than £400,000 a year on translation.

The figures – obtained using the Freedom of Information Act – expose one of the hidden costs of years of high migration.

They emerge after the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles deplored the use of translators by local authorities and said he wanted all people who live in Britain to speak English as their “first and predominant” language.

Some constabularies are already spending as much public money on translating Romanian as they do Polish. Whereas Poles became eligible to work and live in the UK nine years ago, Romanians became entitled to do so from January next year.

Police in Hertfordshire hired Romanian interpreters on 538 occassions during 2011. This was nearly 100 times more than the constabulary hired translators for Polish speakers.

In 2011 Surrey Police spent £39,764 hiring Polish interpreters and a further £39,648 on Romanian interpreters.

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of the think tank MigrationWatch, said: “These are substantial sums that could be spent elsewhere especially in the present economic climate.

“It is concerning that a number of Romanian are already coming to police attention in some areas despite the relatively small size of their community.”

Greater Manchester Police spent £1.5million on translators between 2010 and 2012. The force said it will “usually engage with 72 languages” each year, including a range of dialects from the subcontinent such as Marathi, Telugu, Sylheti.

Over three financial years between 2009 and 2012, Police in Cambridgeshire paid out £1.8million to translate languages such as the Philippine dialect of Tagalog, Jamaican Patois and Amharic, which is spoken in parts of Ethiopia.

Suffolk Police’s spending on telephone translation services last year came in at £26,702 – 30 per cent over budget. The force also spent more than £200,000 on interpreters.

The Telegraph received responses from 35 police authorities. Forces in Hampshire, Northumbria and South Wales refused to handover any details on their spending on interpreters and translators.

In an interview with The Telegraph last week Mr Pickles attacked the routine use of translators and interpreters by local authorities.

“It’s a complete waste of money and sends out all the wrong messages,” the Communities Secretary said.

“It’s a badge of honour to some authorities to say the number of documents there are translating into different language. All we are doing by that is creating a culture of isolation.”

Sussex police is currently advertising for PCSOs paid up to £20,020 a year who speak East European to work in the Arun district.

Around 25,000 of the area’s 150,000 population are understood to have come from East Europe.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Those who choose to live in Britain must make an effort to learn to speak English so that they are not burdening public services such as the police with these costs.

“Taxpayers rightly expect police forces to spend their money on frontline officers to keep us safe rather than on translation costs.”

Last week official figures showed that foreign workers account for more than half of the rise in employment in Britain over the past year.

The Office for National Statistics also said that 112,000 people who were born in Bulgaria or Romania are now working in Britain – a 14 per cent rise on the same period in 2012.

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  • JackKrak

    See – immigrants DO stimulate the economy……

  • David Ashton

    “In 1951 the total population of Caribbean and South Asian people in Britain was 80,000, most of them living in a handful of cities and ports… Forty years on, the 1991 census put the ethnic minority population at just over three million. It is quite an explosion… Parts of cities like London, Leicester or Birmingham now appear to have no connection whatsoever with the England of Arthur Bryant… the Church of England has been replaced by mosques or temples and the old corner grocers by halal butchers and sari shops.” – Jeremy Paxman, “The English” (1998), pp.72-73. [This is written by someone lacking real sympathy for “our lost people”.]
    And still they come….

  • I can speak fluent boogabooga as well. Give me a loaded FN-FAL and everyone except the first ten will do whatever I say. Just as cash makes no enemies, the round in the chamber and the remaining nine more in the magazine brook no argument.

    Britain has come a long way from the crew of “B” turret on HMS Hood in 1941. I wonder what they would say now.

  • IstvanIN

    Wouldn’t it be easier to only allow immigrants who speak and write fluent English?

  • The__Bobster

    How is a Roma like a billiard ball?

    • IstvanIN

      How is a Roma like a billiard ball?

    • Oil Can Harry

      Same IQ?

  • Spartacus

    Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of the think tank MigrationWatch,
    said: “These are substantial sums that could be spent elsewhere
    especially in the present economic climate.

    “It is concerning that a number of Romanian are already coming to
    police attention in some areas despite the relatively small size of
    their community.”


    Gypsies, you damn retard !

    • Why would it be “concerning”? Gypsy “culture” revolves around theft. This isn’t rocket science.

  • Tinfoil A22hat

    I feel like I fell into a coma watching Monty Python and regained consciousness 40 years later in bizzaro world.

  • KenelmDigby

    Good God!,
    Virtually every language known to philogists worldwide seems to be represented!
    Sylheti, Amharic,Telegu,Tagalog etc together with the many tongues of continental Europe.
    Apart from the biblical ‘Tower of Babel’ has such a ridiculous situation ever existed at any time in human history before?, even the USA during its mass immigration period was never this polyglot. I mean ALL the global language families and dialects seem to be represented.
    It really is beyond a joke. Nothing illustrates the sheer, utter madness of the UK’s opne borders immigration policy than this beyond absurd sick joke of a situation.
    How the Hell is a cohesive, efficient well-run nation is supposed to be formed out of this appalling train-wreck of a mess?

  • Paleoconn

    Who cares? London now has some of the best curries in the world and excellent ganja and rasta music, so it’s all worth it!

    • John Liu

      Actually food and music play a huge role in defining the quality of life in a city.

      I’m not being facetious here.

  • John Liu

    Yes, there is a cost to everything. But boring drab overcast Britain has certainly become more vibrant, exciting, and interesting with immigration. No one here can deny this.

    London is an awesome city. It is more awesome than it was in 1950.

    • Iron Helm

      Did you see it in 1950? I’ve lived here all my twenty-something years and cannot imagine it is better as the the White population has decreased.

    • David Ashton

      Not “vibrant” and “exciting” again!
      No-one would have objected much just to a sprinkling of Chinese and Indian restaurants in our cities.
      When I was a boy in 1950 I used to spend some Saturdays in an aunt’s shop in an outer London town. If someone had told me that the place where I was sitting reading my “Eagle” comic, hoping that England and Australia would together build, test and send the first manned spaceship to the moon, would in my adult lifetime become a local HQ for an Asian sky-bomb plot and that my home town, a short distance north, would be home to five Black crime gangs, and my house close to where Black youths would murder the mother of our well-loved English film comedian Leslie Phillips, I would have thought the prophet mad, but he would have been right.

  • Strider73

    Some enterprising robotics experts should build and program a real-life C-3PO (fluent in 5 million forms of communication). If translator droids can be mass-produced, the total cost to taxpayers plummets.

    Of course, the logical solution would be to tell everyone to either learn English or go home.