Global language technology company, thebigword Group, is helping the both the Police and linguists to unite and tackle crime through interpreting services, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether it be physical or through remote video due to COVID-19 restrictions, face-to-face interpreting is essential as human interaction brings the power of body language an expression to complex or sensitive discussions.

Through WordSynk, thebigword has been helping to connect the Police to linguists who are providing interpreting services to help with Limited English speakers who have been taken into custody. Linguists are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide their services.

Whilst the likes of NHS workers and the Police have been working on the front line, Interpreters have often been key to ensuring the continuation of operations in many sectors during the pandemic.

Simona Hodor, a Romanian interpreter who has worked as a linguist with thebigword since 2016 said: “I have mainly worked with the British Transport Police London recently at Brewery Road – but I work in courts, custody offices, airports – everywhere that we are needed really. I love my job more than anything even though it is long hours. The Police are always very welcoming and thankful for the work that I do, and I like helping to make a difference.

The police do a great job and so do we – interpreters are critical to ensure the police can do their job properly as they depend on us, so it is all about helping each other.”

Speaking about the pandemic, she also added: “Every time I have completed an assignment, people are always very thankful and accommodating which helps. I especially feel safe working with the police as we are never left unattended and there is always with an officer present, even went for example the person in custody is going to get their fingerprints there is always somebody nearby to help.

We were always offered masks and hand sanitiser as well as insuring that people kept a distance. As I mentioned before, I feel safe at work and this was still made possible during COVID-19.”

Timothy Hall, the point of contact for interpreting services for custody and Sergeant for the British Transport Police at Brewery Road said: “We rely heavily on thebigword’s linguists to assist us in processing foreign speaking detainees through custody. Their timely attendance not only assists us in investigating crimes expediently, which enables us to support victims of crime with timely updates and sometimes early closure for what may have been a traumatic experience for them, but also minimises the risks in custody while we house and deal with detainees.

It is often the case that the arrival of a linguist seems to ease the stress levels of a detained foreign national which in turn makes it easier for us to manage them while they are in custody. I would like to thank all our linguists for their continued hard work and flexibility.”

Speaking about the pandemic, he added: “In these current times there is often and understandably, concern over the personal risk in attending custody, especially with the recent spike in COVID 19 cases nationally. At Brewery Road we have control measures in place to reduce and minimise this risk, from extra PPE available to both staff and visitors, screens in interview rooms, enhanced cleaning and further measures that can be put in place should a detainee be deemed a risk.”

Linguists at thebigword are the lifeblood of the business and their hard work, even during unprecedented times is valued. Recently, thebigword created WordSynk Network, the world’s first all-in-one platform which was built with linguists in mind to help them make the most of their time.

WordSynk Network allows thebigword’s growing network of linguists to amplify their language abilities and deliver all services on-the-go, making interpreting and translating easier than ever before.