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Understanding police as an issue of social justice: How do investigators and interpreters perceive effective communication?


Howes, LM, Understanding police as an issue of social justice: How do investigators and interpreters perceive effective communication?, Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South, 10-13 July 2017, Cairns, Australia (2017) [Conference Extract]

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This presentation starts from the basis that it is a human right for victims, witnesses, and suspects to be able to understand what police officers are asking them. In Australia, legislation, policy, and police procedures refer to the need to provide services to people, regardless of such things as their language proficiency. When people are not proficient in English, typically an interpreter is required to facilitate communication with police. This study explored how experienced police investigators and interpreters perceive effective communication. Interpreters (n = 20) of various language specialties from around Australia and police investigators and cultural advisors (n = 20) from two Australian jurisdictions participated in interviews or focus groups, in which they discussed their experiences in the domain of police investigative interviews. Shared concerns about hindrances to effective communication included: the choice of face-to-face versus telephone interpreting; the nature of the briefing given to interpreters; and conceptions of suitable training. Police investigators discussed the perceived investigative impacts of interpreted versus monolingual interviews. Interpreters discussed professional constraints that might impinge on the quality of their work. The presentation raises questions about what counts as criteria for quality in assessing the effectiveness of interpreted investigative interviews.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:social justice, interpreters
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Police administration, procedures and practice
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Criminal justice
UTAS Author:Howes, LM (Dr Loene Howes)
ID Code:119568
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-08-02
Last Modified:2020-02-13

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