Dirk Rombouts, Local Criminal Investigation Team, Antwerp
Interpreters for the police are increasingly asked to interpret during serious crimes police interviews and interrogations. Sometimes these interviews are long and tiring, but often also very subtle, delicate and difficult.
But police officers are also increasingly using highly sophisticated interviewing methods and strategies which are used deliberately, with a specific purpose in mind. Such techniques require the strict application of a roadmap in order to achieve satisfactory outcomes.
Most if not all interpreters are unaware of these strategies, are not familiar with interviewing methodologies and often find these interviews baffling, contradictory and obtuse.
Hence the question whether legal interpreters should receive some basic training in and knowledge of in these interviewing techniques and to what extent this raises ethical and professional issues regarding the impartiality of the interpreters.