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Community interpreters’ experiences of police investigative interviews: how might interpreters’ insights contribute to enhanced procedural justice?

Howes, LM ORCID: 0000-0002-5656-6121 2018 , 'Community interpreters’ experiences of police investigative interviews: how might interpreters’ insights contribute to enhanced procedural justice?' , Policing and Society , pp. 1-19 , doi: 10.1080/10439463.2018.1447572.

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Procedural justice refers to fairness in police dealings with members of thepublic. By facilitating communication between the police and people withwhom they do not share a common language, interpreters assist policingorganisations to provide fair and equitable services for all members of thecommunity. Yet research findings suggest that interpreters’ presence,behaviour, and interpreting choices can negatively impact the fairness ofpolice investigative interviews. To contribute to enhanced proceduraljustice in interpreted investigative interviews, this study explores theunder-researched topic of interpreters’ perceptions of such interviews.Twenty community interpreters from diverse languages participated ininterviews, in line with the procedural justice concept of voice. Inductivethematic analysis of transcripts revealed interpreters’ perception thateffective interpreting is impeded both by systemic issues arising fromthe structure of the interpreting profession and situational aspects ofthe police interview. Interpreters’ accounts urged police interviewers todevelop familiarity with this developing profession and elaborated onwhat is helpful to them in interpreted police interviews whether on siteor via telephone. Practical strategies for police interviewers to assistinterpreters include familiarising them with interview rooms, givingadvance briefings to prepare for emotional content, allowing time tocheck infrequently used words, and debriefing at the conclusion. Overall,the findings indicate some practical ways in which the procedural justicegoals of neutrality, respectful treatment, and trustworthiness may beenhanced in interpreted investigative interviews. Further research isneeded to assess the impacts of these suggestions on procedural justiceoutcomes in practice.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Howes, LM
Keywords: legal interpreting, police interviews, procedural justice, public service interpreting
Journal or Publication Title: Policing and Society
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1043-9463
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/10439463.2018.1447572
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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