British police spent 82 mn pounds for talking to migrants (Lead)

August 20th, 2011 - 1:26 am ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 19 (IANS) Police in Britain spend an average 75,000 pounds (over $124,000) a day on translation services to communicate with migrant criminals, victims and witnesses, a media report Friday said.

The same amount of money could fund 3,542 extra officers on the beat, Daily Mail reported.

In the last three years, police spent 82 million pounds ($135 mn) on translators for migrants, the report stated.

The total cost was 82,403,168 pounds over the past three years and averages 1.5 million pounds per force, the Daily Express reported.

This is 60 percent rise in expenditure since 2004 when the European Union expanded to allow Poland and other eastern countries to join.

Most of the money was spent by the Metropolitan police service which forked out 29.3 million pounds since 2008 and next was West Midlands police which paid 6.6 million pounds.

While West Yorkshire and Thames Valley police each spent 3.3 million pounds.

At the same time when 16,000 police officers are taken off the front line to save costs, the figures have been met with anger.

Simon Reed, vice chairman of the Police Federation, said: “These costs are unreasonable and have a huge impact on forces. There have been pay freezes and job cuts because of a lack of money, but spending on translation is growing hugely.

“It is something that has to be done, but it is unfair to expect police to bear all the costs.”

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