Full Version: UK: Police using picture cards instead of interpreters
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Bobbies on the beat are using picture cards to help them gather vital evidence from people who cannot speak English.

Victims of crime can be shown the cards to help officers put together a suspect’s description without having to wait for a translator.

The scheme is being piloted in Arundel, Bognor and Littlehampton to help serve the thousands of Eastern European migrant workers living in the area.

Sergeant Danny West, whose idea it was to use the cards, said they could also help in areas with large numbers of foreign students or other situations where communication is difficult.

The cards are produced by a company called Pocket Comms, based in Coventry. They include sets of symbols which people can point to instead of having to speak the same language.

The pilot scheme began in the police’s Arun district in July.

Sgt West said: “Within a week of me putting it out to a selection of officers, a Polish woman tried to tell us she had been assaulted in very limited English.

”We needed to get a description immediately in case the suspect was still close by.

“There are cards for eye colour, hair colour and height and we were able to get a description and alert officers in the area.”
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