Much of it spent haphazardly…….

Paper: Police spending on translation grew exponentially over past decade

Police budgeting for language translation services has grown exponentially in a relatively short time. A decade ago the police spent some 200,000 euros annually on the services, but according to the publication Sunnuntaisuomalainen, Finnish police spent about 3.6 million euros on translation services last year.

Poliisinmerkki virkapaidassa ja taustalla useita putkanovia.

File photo. Image: Heikki Rönty / Yle

According to the central Finland based Sunday publication Sunnuntaisuomalainen, the police budget for translation of asylum and deportation matters a decade ago was around 200,000 euros.

2015’s budget for translators was around 3.6 million euros, the paper wrote.

According to Finnish law, police are required to use translators when a client is unable to speak Finnish or Swedish.

The languages police need most help with include Arabic, Romanian, Russian and Estonian.

The National Police Board has suggested that police take better advantage of the language skills which migrants in the country already possess.

But the language requirements police officers must be able to speak – namely Finnish as well as the country’s minority language of Swedish – pose hurdles.

The National Police Board has reportedly discussed with Interior Ministry officials about the possibility of eliminating the language requirements of police cadets with foreign backgrounds in cases where they possess language skills that police departments need.

So far, no decision has been reached on the issue.

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