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

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DELETION OF DNA RECORDS

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner has written to the Home Secretary expressing her alarm at plans to destroy thousands of DNA samples from a national database. Vera Baird QC believes it will be victims of rape and sexual violence who will ultimately suffer as a result of samples held on the national DNA database being destroyed as part of the Protection of Freedoms Act. From October police forces won’t be able to hold indefinitely the DNA of people arrested on suspicion of sexual and violent crimes if they are released without charge. Forces can apply to the biometrics

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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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Police candidate hails S. Tyne approach on anti-social behaviour

Read the Shields Gazette report of Vera’s visit to South Tyneside to learn at first hand how the council is working with its partners to tackle crime.

Police commissioner candidate promises Sunderland women she will tackle domestic violence

Read the Sunderland Echo report of Vera’s visit to Sunderland charity Wearside Women in Need.

Vera pledges to put victims of crime first

Vera Baird QC, Labour’s candidate for Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner has signed up to support Victim Support’s five basic rights for victims of crime and pledged to secure improvements in the way victims are treated by the local criminal justice system if elected in November’s elections.

Read the full press release here

Vera selected to run for Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner

Vera has been chosen by local Labour Party voters as their candidate for Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner. She gained 1921 votes versus 635 for her opponent. Vera said ‘I am delighted with this result and very grateful to the party members who voted for me, and to the volunteers who worked so tirelessly on my behalf. I count on your support as I continue to work full time to secure the public vote on November 15th – thank you’. Read more on Vera’s Police Commissioner Campaign page.

Police Commissioner campaign leaflets

Click to read Vera’s Police Commissioner Campaign Leaflet

Vera's letter upon being shortlisted to run for Police Commissioner

Here’s the text of Vera’s letter:

I am proud to have been shortlisted for the Labour candidacy for the new post of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. There will now be a ballot of Labour Party members in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear to select our candidate. I hope that you will want to vote for me when the ballot paper arrives on or about 25th May.

I enclose some information about me and about my priorities. I would be pleased to talk to you about your views on policing, community safety, crime and justice.

This is a new

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