Cuts mean translation services no longer available at police stations

Update 4 June 2012: This service is being axed immediately due to cuts, the Dirección General de la Policía has announced in instructions to all regional police chiefs.  The Interior Ministry had originally intended to withdraw all interpretation services in comisarias, but this was found to be in breach of criminal justice legislation which recognizes the right of those detained to assistance in their own language. What has finally been decided, however, is the withdrawal of translation services in the “presentation of denuncias and other procedures”. The change of heart is clearly shown by the two emails sent out, the second  of which says the cuts are due to budgetary restrictions.

Original post 27 May 2011:  The National Police Station in Playa de las Américas, the main police station in south Tenerife, is introducing a new Foreign Tourist Service (Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero: SATE) at the beginning of June. The service will be available between 9am and 2pm for psychological help and translation services to travellers who might be the victims of crime during their stay in Tenerife, and will assist, amongst other things, in processing any necessary paperwork like denuncias, cancelling stolen cards, and making contact with embassies and consulates, as well as victims’ families.

The plans for the service were finalised in a meeting between senior officers of the Tenerife Sur Comisaría, the heads of the Adeje and Arona Policía Local, the Arona Councillor for police, and two Cabildo representatives. The service has been much demanded by local action groups and security professionals in the south, and is planned as a notable advance in the island’s touristic offer, and one that at long last fills a major gap in services to visitors.  El Dia

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