Friday, 14 October 2016

Capita hits interpreting target just once in four years 
14 October 2016 by Monidipa Fouzder

Capita hits interpreting target just once in four years
With only a fortnight to go until Capita’s stewardship of courtroom interpreting comes to an end, latest government statistics show the monopoly provider missing its key performance target yet again.
The Ministry of Justice’s latest quarterly update shows that, between April and June this year, Capita Translation and Interpreting achieved a 96% success rate in the number of completed service requests.
Four years after the controversial outsourcing of courtroom interpreting to a single contractor, Capita TI has met the 98% contractual requirement only once - in the last quarter of 2015. The latest success rate is also a percentage point lower than the success rate achieved in the first quarter of this year.
However, in some good news, there were 10 fewer ‘proven’ complaints between April and June, compared with the previous quarter. The ministry’s bulletin states that the complaints rate has fallen from 4% in 2013 to just over 1% in the second quarter of this year.
The most common cause of complaint was ‘interpreter was late’, accounting for nearly a third of the 430 complaints between April and June. Of complaints on 'interpreter quality' 30 were ‘proven’.
The proportion of service requests not fulfilled as a result of ‘suppliers’ action’ - including ‘not fulfilled by supplier’ and ‘supplier did not attend’ categories - increased by one percentage point on the previous quarter.
Of the 38,700 completed requests between April and June, 1,200 were not fulfilled by the contractor. There were 5,600 requests cancelled as a result of ‘customer action’.
Capita TI’s contract expires on 30 October. Leeds-headquartered international language services company thebigword will take over face-to-face and telephone interpretation, and translation and transcription services from 31 October.
Cambrige firm Clarion UK will provide non-spoken language services, such as British Sign Language.
The Language Shop, a business originally set up by the London borough of Newham, has been awarded the contract for independent quality assurance.
Changes to the way the ministry publishes the language interpreter and translation statistics means that Capita TI's performance in the last four months of its contract will not be known until March next year.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Leazes Park sex assault trial: Jury told of 'second major' error from translators 
10 Oct 2016

Leazes Park sex assault trial: Jury told of 'second major' error from translators
A jury has been shown two “major” errors in interpreting the police interview of one of three Syrians accused of sex assaults on two 14-year-old schoolgirls in a park.
Jurors have been told to ignore the original transcript of the 20-year-old Mohammed Alfrouh’s interview with detectives, and were read a re-translated version of what the Arabic-speaker said.
The married defendant denies three counts of sexual assault said to have been committed at Leazes Park, Newcastle, on two schoolgirls in May.
Co-accused 18-year-olds Omar Badreddin and Mohammed Allakkoud deny a single charge of sexual assault.
Judge Edward Bindloss, sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, said there were two important errors in the translation provided by an interpreter who was present at the police interview.
Alfrouh told police he saw Badreddin kissing one of the complainants behind a pavilion in the park.
It was wrongly translated that he saw Badreddin touching her private parts, when the correct interpretation was that he saw his hand was inside her leggings, the court heard.
Alfrouh went on to tell detectives “the Devil” encouraged him to approach them, adding: “Basically, I wanted to kiss her.”
But he said his conscience stopped him, and he told police he did not touch the girl.
Judge Bindloss said this was the “second major error” in the translation, as the interpreter in the police station translated his words as “I was trying to kiss her” instead of the correct version, “I wanted to kiss her”.
Alfrouh went on to tell police he had been in this country for six months and that he had a good reputation with “no wrong doings” in Syria.
He knew Allakkoud from his home town and had seen Badreddin once before the park incidents as someone from the Syrian community, he told police.
Judge Bindloss told jurors the errors made in translation were not the fault of the Crown, the defence or the police.
If officers need an interpreter for an interview, they have to call a firm which provides them with one, the judge said.
The trial continues.