Thursday, April 18, 2024

Language no barrier for NSW Police

The NSW Police Force has announced a partnership with Multicultural NSW that will provide Australia’s largest police service with access to an extensive, round-the-clock translating and interpreting service. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, Paul Toole said the new Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations would give Police access to translators and interpreters for more than 100 languages. 

“This is a big win for police, local communities and those visiting our great state who may come in contact with police, but struggle with English,” Mr Toole said. 

“When an incident arises it’s crucial that police have the tools they need to break down language barriers so they can communicate effectively and achieve positive outcomes. 

“Police currently have access to more than 25 Multicultural Liaison Officers spread across the State to engage with communities at a grass roots level. The new, updated MOU will give police officers access to more translators and interpreters in more locations across NSW in person, virtually or via phone. 

“These kinds of language services are more important than ever with more overseas travellers choosing to visit our regions and a record number of new arrivals and refugees choosing to work and settle in areas like Albury and Wagga Wagga.” 

Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure said the MOU offered improved access to the full suite of NSW Government language services.

“The NSW Government has invested heavily in building up our translating and interpreting workforce. Through the latest budget, a $16 million package has been secured to improve our whole-of-government language services,” Mr Coure said. 

“We have more than 1,400 language professionals that can be called on by Police around the clock to support face-to-face, online or even over the phone interpreting and translating so they can better serve the people of NSW. 

“This MOU is also a major job creator for interpreters and translators—with a greater demand for our language services comes more job opportunities and new career pathways. 

“We know there are people right across NSW who are eager to use their language skills to become translators and interpreters. We have seen 400 people successfully complete our scholarships program to become fully qualified interpreters—the more opportunities there are for people to use their skills, the more we will see this number grow. 

“The scholarships program has expanded to include translators, giving even more residents jobs and career opportunities,” he said.

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