Happy New Year to you. I sincerely hope that you were able to get some rest and recuperation during the Christmas break.
Thank you to all of you who answered the call to attend police stations across the UK during this holiday, regardless of the time of day or night, or weather conditions. I have consistently stated that the police services across the UK are unable to investigate crime and provide reassurance to the public without your considerable help.
Covid and Lock Down Government Guidance
I wanted to provide some clarity regarding your position as interpreters during the national lock down that is currently taking place across the United Kingdom.
Government Guidance stipulates:
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
It then goes on to say:
you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.
The guidance also deals with public services, stating:
The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them.
From the guidance above, it is clear that if a police officer requires a face to face interpreter to attend a police station or any other location to assist with a police matter of any kind, then you are authorised to attend and are out of your home for a lawful purpose.
Usual Covid precautions must be taken. It is recommended to wear masks and/or visors whenever possible. Police will provide you with the mask if you require one.
Your personal safety is important to us and we understand how worrying it may be to leave your home at this time. Police services across the UK have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to minimise the risk of infection as far as possible which apply to everyone attending police premises. Unfortunately not all police assignments can be dealt with by way of remote interpreting although this may be an option with some of the police services you encounter.
Thank you again for continuing to accept police assignments during the lockdown. Your commitment and dedication is certainly appreciated by all officers and staff.
Simon Cole QPM
National Police Contract Manager for Language Services