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

North East Commissioners call for Judge to be investigated.

Commissioners call for Judge to be investigated

The north east’s three Police and Crime Commissioners are calling on the Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office to investigate a Teesside Judge who let down a victim of domestic abuse.

It follows the court case of a 34-year-old man, who was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and given a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the man had terrorised his wife by biting and throttling her, before holding a knife to her throat and shooting her in the toe during a terrifying attack.

continue reading North East Commissioners call for Judge to be investigated.

Commissioner joins stars of the stage and screen in support of ending rape and sexual violence in Burma

Commissioner joins stars of the stage and screen in support of ending rape and sexual violence in Burma

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has joined forces with well-known names from the world of stage, comedy and music.

She has joined Maureen Lipman, Dame Judi Dench, Jo Brand and Annie Lennox in support to end rape and sexual violence in Burma

A new report by the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) ‘Same Impunity, Same Pattern’, highlights the continuing use of sexual violence against minority women by the Burmese military.

Ethnic women and girls suffer horrific sexual abuse while

continue reading Commissioner joins stars of the stage and screen in support of ending rape and sexual violence in Burma

My response to an article on Liberty website.

I recently read an article entitled “Skewed Priorities” https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/news/latest-news/skewed-priorities on the Liberty Human Rights website. It was important that I addressed a number of the points they raised, below is my reply. I read with interest the article entitled “Skewed Priorities” by Liberty’s Emma Norton and felt that as Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria I had to respond to ensure all the facts were in the public domain and the importance of Northumbria Police launching an inquiry into “no criming” She writes that Northumbria Police ‘has had to announce’ that 11 rape allegations previously recorded as “no crimes” are going to be reinvestigated.’ How they have ‘had’ to do so is important. It is far from new that the police ‘no crime’ rapes, in questionable circumstances. It has been happening, nationwide, for many years, publicised by campaigners, usually relying on individual or client experience or disparity of figures between forces – and yet no force before has ‘had to announce’ a reinvestigation.

continue reading My response to an article on Liberty website.

Refuge Provision – At Crisis Point?

Why should she have to leave her home because of his violence?

Because she wants to stay alive is the answer, and she wants her children to stay alive too. The reality is that women experiencing domestic violence “choose”, every day, to flee to refuges because they can’t tolerate anymore the psychological and physical abuse they are experiencing. They are victims who have done their own risk assessment and they know that outreach work and extra security measures will not keep them safe and they want the things most of us take for granted simple things like the

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Letting In The Light.

Northumbria’s Police & Crime Commissioner has been leading the way in helping inform the public about the work of Labour Police & Crime Commissioners.

In association with the Fabian Society, Britain’s oldest political think tank which was established in 1884, a collection of essays have been put together which highlights how democracy can bring the police closer to the public.

The document, attached, which is entitled “LETTING IN THE LIGHT: LESSONS FROM LABOUR’S POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONERS”

‘Letting in the Light: Lessons from Labour’s police and crime commissioners’, was edited by Northumbria’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC,

continue reading Letting In The Light.

Frances Andrade – Learning Lessons, Getting It Right First Time (Huffington Post)

All of us in the criminal justice world have to work together now to make sure that there never is another death, like that of Frances Andrade, who died in circumstances that point to it being very nearly a direct consequence of becoming a witness in a sexual abuse case and finding it unbearable.

First, it is clear that a police officer somewhere, disastrously, convinced Ms Andrade, probably at an early stage, that if she has counselling it might interfere with her recollections and damage her evidence. The inquest heard that she said that to her GP, to a

continue reading Frances Andrade – Learning Lessons, Getting It Right First Time (Huffington Post)

Guardian article by Nicholas Watt – regarding Butler-Sloss. Published 14/7/14 – 9.56am

Ex-solicitor general urges Butler-Sloss to stand down from child abuse inquiryVera Baird says judge should withdraw as her panel would have to examine if her brother played down abuse claims.

A former solicitor general has called on Lady Butler-Sloss to stand down as chair of the inquiry into child abuse over a family conflict of interest.

Vera Baird, the police and crime commissioner for Northumbria who served as Labour’s solicitor general from 2007 to 2010, said the home secretary, Theresa May, had made an error in appointing Butler-Sloss because her brother had served as attorney general in the 1980s.

continue reading Guardian article by Nicholas Watt – regarding Butler-Sloss. Published 14/7/14 – 9.56am

Labour Women’s Safety Conference

National plans making domestic and sexual violence a priority

Labour plans which would revolutionise the way sexual crimes are handled have been welcomed by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

The Commissioner, who has made domestic and sexual violence a priority in her Police and Crime Plan, was at Labour’s Women’s Safety Conference.

Delegates were discussing ways of improving justice for domestic and sex crimes, some of which have become more prevalent through the growth of the worldwide web, and improving women’s safety.

Key note speaker Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the insults levelled at teenage girls

continue reading Labour Women’s Safety Conference

In response: Yvette Cooper’s speech to the Fabian Conference (28th June 2014)

Yvette Cooper once again showed us why she will be an effective Home Secretary in 45 weeks time.

Speaking at the Fabians Society Conference she delivered a speech which was compassionate, caring and reinforced why we need a Labour Government with Ed Miliband and Yvette leading from the front for a fairer country that speaks for all.

As a party we are right to oppose the bedroom tax, it hurts too many people – it is not right that people have to make the choice of whether to feed themselves or not because they can’t afford the ever increasing

continue reading In response: Yvette Cooper’s speech to the Fabian Conference (28th June 2014)