National Police stations in two of the main tourist resorts in Tenerife, Playa de las Americas and Puerto de la Cruz, do not have interpreters to translate complaints and statements of witnesses or defendants.
The situation is due to the Interior Ministry’s decision to stop outsourcing the service of interpreters and “Go for language training within the police”, said the Tenerife provincial executive committee of the Spanish Confederation of Police (CEP).
The Ministry explained in a circular in May issued by the Deputy Operations Director of Police , Eugenio Pino, “due to current budgetary constraints and in order to rationalize spending, stations are to refrain from using the services of interpreters which are commonly used for assistance to detainees and for Citizen Complaints. ”
The station in Playa de las Americas had used two staff who were fluent in English, French and German, while Puerto de la Cruz had a translator of English and German.
Currently, the CEP said, there is no interpreter at either of these stations.
Asked how they cover this service, the CEP said the Interior Ministry “relies on the good faith and willingness of public officials who have language skills.”
The measure to remove interpreters not only affected the police, but also officials at airports.
According to the Provincial Committee of the CEP Tenerife Sur airport National Police officers also lost their translator, who was a specialist in Russian, since March.