Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner has joined forces with his counterparts in Durham and Northumbria in a joint effort to reduce the amount the three forces spend on interpreting services.
Barry Coppinger said the force currently spends more than £100,000 each year on face to face interpreting services with no formal contract in place, and language experts being taken from the National Register for Interpreters.
Cleveland Police currently has access to 120 Interpreters and the present system means they receive payment for a minimum period rather than for the period of time actually worked.
Northumbria Police invited tenders on behalf of the three forces and the successful company, which will offer a managed service, should save each force thousands of pounds every year.
Mr Coppinger said: “The current process is inefficient in terms of the time it takes to organise a vetted and available Interpreter each time one is needed. It is also fairly costly and we were sure savings could be made. In 2012-2013 alone, we processed 500 individual invoices for interpreting services which again seems an inefficient use of scarce resources.
“The company we and our colleagues at Durham and Northumbria will use will have one number for officers to call, with the organisation then arranging the relevant Interpreter to attend. The company will also issue just one invoice per month which means we will only process 12 in a year, providing efficiency savings.
“Another benefit is that the company will be responsible for vetting and registering Interpreters and they will all meet stringent nationally agreed standards
“The amount we spent on face to face interpreting services in 2012-13 was £120,276 but the cost with our new organisation would be £76,300 so that’s a saving of £43,529. And for telephone service there was a saving of £5,529."
Posted on Friday 28th June 2013