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Some aspects of the role of interpreters in investigative interviews

The article presents and examines the results of an empirical research related to the role of interpreters in facilitating communication with non-English speaking victims and witnesses during police investigations and statement taking procedures in England and Wales. The research specifically addresses the issues and challenges encountered by experienced professional interpreters in their interpreting practice when dealing with victims and witnesses. The article also analyses the engagement of interpreters in formal training and the availability of guidance documents for interpreters assisting them in police investigative interviews and statement taking procedures. Research methodology is based on a survey designed specifically in order to obtain and analyse the collected empirical data based on the perception and experiences of police interpreters. A range of inconsistencies, issues and challenges are identified and analysed in this research leading to evidence-based conclusions.

KEYWORDS: investigative interview, interpreter, witness statement, impartiality, ImPLI


Katrina Mayfield. MACI, MSc, DPI, MITI, MAPCI, professional conference and legal interpreter with over 14 years of experience currently working for London Metropolitan Police. Holds a university degree in teaching. From 2006 to 2017 worked for Cambridgeshire Constabulary in the UK in the role of interpreting and translation services manager developing and delivering training programmes to police officers, as well as launching a unique Continuous Professional Development programme for experienced qualified interpreters. Has organised and participated in joint training events for investigators, solicitors and interpreters in England, Wales and Russia.

Alex Krouglov. DSc in Linguistics, Emeritus Associate Professor, London Metropolitan University, Senior Teaching Fellow, University College London and Leading Researcher, Rezekne Academy of Technology. Has been involved in teaching Translation, Interpreting, Languages and Linguistics for over 30 years. Has conducted many teacher training and translation/ interpreting workshops and led a number of international projects in the field of higher education: Tempus, Erasmus+, British Council, etc. Research interests cover Translation, Interpreting, Sociolinguistics and Higher Education. Author of numerous research articles and textbooks. Has engaged as an expert in Higher Education for the World Bank, British Council, European Commission and many other international and national organisations. Has been involved in assignments as translator, interpreter and assessor.


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