Victims With Limited English (669A/22)
1.1 Do you classify victims with limited or no English speaking, reading and/or writing skills, and other communication barriers as ‘vulnerable’ under the Vulnerability Assessment Framework?
1.2 If not, has your police force assessed whether having limited or no English skills is a form of vulnerability? (a) If so, what form did that assessment take and what was its outcome; or (b) If not, why not?
2.1 How many police officers were employed by your force for any length of time at any point between 1 January 2020 and 1 January 2021? This includes police officers of all ranks from frontline to management, including on duty and off duty officers.
2.2 Please identify what (if any) mandatory training courses the aforementioned police officers employed between 2020-2021 were required to attend on the issue of victims and witnesses with communication barriers1. If no such mandatory training courses are in place, why not?
1 Communication barriers’ is not an exhaustive term but commonly will include anyone with limited or no English skills, or disabilities such as deaf or deaf-mute individuals.
If mandatory training courses are in place:
2.3 Please specify the contents of the mandatory training courses on the issue of victims and witnesses with communication barriers.
2.4 Please confirm whether the mandatory training courses include:
(a) The legal definition of the term ‘vulnerable’;
(b) Communication barrier indicators such as a lack of English language or disabilities;
(c) The duty of police officers to identify victims’/witnesses’ communication barriers;
(d) The duty of police officers to take reasonable steps to ensure that the vulnerable victims and witnesses with communication barriers receive the same service as those without such vulnerabilities, such as securing an interpreter (foreign language/ sign language);
(e) The duty of police officers to take reasonable steps to ensure that the Victims’ Code is applied in the same way to victims with communication barriers (this includes the right to receive updates, the right to provide a statement, the right to seek a review of a decision to take no further action);
(f) The mechanisms in place in your police force to assist vulnerable witnesses and victims with communication barriers to give evidence in support of an investigation (such as providing guidance on Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interviews, special measures at court etc.); and
(g) The duty of police officers to assess victims for Victim Support Services and to make such referrals where deemed suitable.
2.5 Please confirm how many police officers employed by your force (see question 2.1 above) attended and studied the mandatory training courses between 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2021.
2.6 Please confirm the duration and mode (i.e. lecture/e-learning) of the mandatory training courses.
2.7 Please confirm whether the police officers were required to attend Continuing Professional Development sessions on vulnerable witnesses with communication barriers, or whether the mandatory courses were limited to one session only.
2.8 Please confirm how police officers’ attendance and study of the mandatory course were monitored.
2.9 Please confirm how the police officers’ understanding and competence in this course was examined.
2.10 If police officers were examined on this course, please confirm how many police officers successfully passed it. If police officers were not examined on this course – why not?
3. Engagement with vulnerable victims of crime
3.1 Does the police force record the number of victims of crime with English as a second language? If yes, how many such victims were recorded between 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2021?
3.2 Does the police force record the first and other languages of victims with communication barriers at every point of contact? If yes, please provide this data.
3.3 Please confirm whether written communications are provided to such victims in easy read or pictorial formats.
4. Professional Interpretation and Translation services
4.1 Does the police force organise ‘competent’ and ‘accredited’ interpreters for interviews and translation of key documents for victims with communication barriers? If yes, how many interpreters were organised for such victims between 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2021?
4.2 Please provide all procedures for officers and staff on how to access language assistance services under different circumstances, including when receiving and responding to requests for assistance, making enforcement stops, conducting field investigations and witness interviews, conducting custodial interrogations and performing other law enforcement operations.
4.3 Please confirm the financial budget/funding allocated by the police force for providing the access to professional interpretation, translation services and/or any other tailored support.
4.4 Does the police force have access to a set of volunteers that might enhance language support wherever possible?
5.1 If you are not able to answer any question in this FOI request, why not?
5.2 If you are not able to answer any question, does the data exist for that question?
5.3 If the data does not exist, why not?
Please find attached (669A_22_attachment.pdf).
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.