Stormont decision welcomed by Northumbria Commissioner

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has welcomed the decision of Stormont assembly members to start the legislative process to ban paying for sex.

In the UK, selling or buying sex is not currently illegal.

However, it is illegal to buy sex from someone who is controlled for another person’s gain; other illegal activities including loitering and soliciting for prostitution; kerb crawling; keeping a brothel and placing an advert for prostitution within the vicinity of a public telephone box.

Northern Ireland has now started the process that paying for sex becomes illegal.

Discussions went on until late

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PRESS RELEASE: Commissioner demands Government takes urgent action.

Commissioner demands Government takes urgent action

New Government powers to tackle anti-social behaviour must be supported with extra funding, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has said.

The Government has introduced five new powers which have come in to effect today, which the Government believe will enable the police, local authorities and others to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour (ASB) as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Northumbria Police has worked closely with partners to ensure the smooth implementation of the powers and the Commissioner’s office has consulted on the community

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Is this Government Serious about protecting victims?

Is this Government serious about protecting victims? – Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird

This week Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP provided the House of Commons with further information about the Government’s document ‘Our Commitment to Victims’.

In a Written Ministerial Statement Mr Grayling believes the proposed laws will see victims kept informed about their case and courts will allow most to provide a personal impact statement.

Vera Baird said: “What the Justice Secretary has announced is a few add ons to the Victims’ Code – but nothing of real substance.

“A lot of what is mentioned

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Action Needed To Tackle True Cost Of Alcohol.

As alcohol-related NHS admissions hit almost 10 million in England, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has again called for action to be taken in stemming the consumption of alcohol.

Already this year Mrs Baird, together with fellow north east Police and Crime Commissioners Ron Hogg from Durham and Cleveland’s Barry Coppinger, have written of their concerns over the direct link between cheap alcohol and crime and disorder.

The three Commissioners had called on the Government to introduce minimum pricing. Research had shown that by doing this, alcohol related crimes would reduce by thousands each year leading to

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“Loose Women” TV Programme debate – Judy Finnigan

The comments of broadcaster Judy Finnigan in her debut on the TV programme ‘Loose Women’ in relation to a high profile rape case involving a footballer have been criticised by Vera Baird.

The former Richard and Judy star was commenting on the case of footballer Ched Evans who was jailed for five years in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman.

The player is preparing to be released from prison and the broadcaster was discussing if he should be allowed to rejoin his club.

Ms Finnigan said he had served his time, the rape was not violent and his victim

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Britain Needs A Pay Rise – TUC Campaign

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is encouraging people to support the TUC as it urges ‘Britain needs a pay rise’.

This Saturday, 18 October, a march supporting the living wage takes place in London with other demonstrations also happening across the country.

Vera Baird said: “I’m supporting the TUC’s principal of the demonstration which is quite simple – that as growth returns to the UK economy, everyone should get a fairer share in this recovery.

“People are currently facing the biggest squeeze on their incomes since Victorian times and wages have fallen in real terms every year

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The Guardian – 26th September 2014. “Police Commissioners seek inquiry…”

North East Police & Crime Commissioners say Judge Moorhouse’s lax sentence told women that “male judges will not protect them”

Read more by clicking here www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/26/police-commissioners-inquiry-judge-leniency-domestic-abuse

Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP: His actions don’t follow his words

Today, Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, has announced a package of measures about the treatment of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system. Yet his own Victims Commissioner has doubts and Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, Vera Baird remains skeptical about his commitment to deliver.

Under Grayling’s proposals, he states victims will be kept informed about their case, courts will allow personal impact statements to be read out. Other measures announced include setting up a victims information service from March 2015 and allowing more child witnesses to film their evidence before a trial starts.

However, the

continue reading Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP: His actions don’t follow his words

Miliband calls for “proper intervention” into police conduct during the Orgreave miners clash

Labour Leader, Ed Miliband and Vera Baird – Calling for Answers.

From Labourlist – www.labourlist.org

The Guardian has reported today that Miliband has become one of the most senior politicians to call for a “proper investigation” into the confrontation between police and miners at Orgreave – known as the Battle of Orgreave

Thirty years after the clashes between police and miners at Orgreave, the drive to push for a full investigation into alleged police alleged misconduct both during and after the incident continues. The police are accused of physically assaulting miners, lying under oath and perverting the course of

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Vera visits Newcastle's Angelou Centre

Everyone I have spoken to, locally, about violence against women admires the Angelou Centre, which is just moving to bigger premises in Newcastle’s West End.

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