My response to an article on Liberty website.

I recently read an article entitled “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.

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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.


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

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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

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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)

Commissioner takes concerns to Parliament

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner is joining forces with Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd in raising concerns about proposed legislation which they fear could make it easier for bogus taxi drivers to prey on vulnerable people.

The proposed Deregulation Bill – aims to free private hire and taxis from red tape. However, the legislation includes several measures on the private hire trade which the Commissioner has described as giving grave cause for concern.

Vera Baird has concerns about the measures which include: allowing people who do not hold a private hire vehicle driver’s licence

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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 –

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

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


Click on the link below. Now is the time for the IPCC to investigate Orgreave, no more delays.