Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

Northumbria receiving national recognition

Special mention was made of the work being undertaken by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird by the Home Secretary Theresa May at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Annual Conference in Harrogate.

Mrs May was recognising the work of Commissioners from across England and Wales when she made special mention of the Northumbria Commissioner.

The Home Secretary was talking about engaging with local communities and recognised that Commissioners such as Mrs Baird had raised the profile of the role and shown that they could make a difference.

She said: “As Vera Baird, the Police and Crime Commissioner in Northumbria, has said: ‘My post bag and the hundreds of meetings I go to make clear the public is now well aware of the presence of commissioners and very interested to hear about them and hold them to account.’”

Mrs Baird added: “When I was elected, I promised to keep in touch with local residents by attending meetings and events and by being accessible – this is exactly what I have done and will continue to do. The mail that comes into my office far exceeds anything the Police Authority received.  It’s good that local residents see me as being accessible and a voice for them in ensuring Northumbria Police is delivering for local communities.”

The Home Secretary also recognised that Police and Crime Commissioners can be innovative and forward thinking, saying: “In Northumbria, Vera Baird’s work has led to the creation of 165 Domestic and Sexual Violence Champions in workplaces, clubs and public spaces, among other important initiatives.”

Mrs Baird added: “We will continue to drive change and implement changes that will make a difference to serious issues.  As Police and Crime Commissioner I have the ability to bring partners together to address issues and drive forward change – this has happened with the Vulnerability Training and the workplace Champions strategy.”

As we head towards a General Election, all parties have put forward different ways of dealing with police governance.

Vera Baird said: “It’s vitally important that police governance engages with the public and that they have a voice.  The Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is right to have this discussion, to learn what has gone well since the creation of PCCs and to ensure that the public continue to be fully engaged and have confidence in police governance and that police officers continue to serve the communities they work in.”



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