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Northumbria Partnership Work Recognised as Example of Good Practice

27th March 2015

A strategy introduced by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird to stop Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) has been recognised in a national report.

The Police and Crime Commissioners and Civil Society report, which was produced by government, looks at ways in which PCCs work together with the organisations in the Voluntary, Charity and Social Enterprise sector, highlighting interesting practice and opportunities for future collaboration.

The report acknowledges the involvement of the North East Women’s Network (NEWN) in the VAWG strategy launched in 2013 by Commissioner Baird along with her counterparts Ron Hogg, PCC for Durham and Barry Coppinger, PCC for Cleveland.

NEWN played a part in consultation to help shape the regional strategy, aimed at supporting and protecting women and girls who are victims of violence or abuse of any kind, including providing information on their experiences of victims and survivors of violence.

While the paper illustrates these positive working relationships, it acknowledges there are many more.

One such example in Northumbria is the ‘Building Bridges’ initiative made possible by Commissioner Baird following a donation in both 2013 and 2014.

The programme sees partnership work between Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour, domestic and sexual abuse, reducing crime and increasing community confidence.

It also offers workshops, activities and fixtures that bring young people from Tyneside and Wearside together.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “The NEWN played a vital role in our consultation process to develop the VAWG strategy.

“These women are experts in their field and were an obvious choice to get involved in making the strategy what it is today. Their input was invaluable and I grateful to them for it.

“I was also delighted to support the Building Bridges project giving youngsters the opportunity to meet others who may support a different local team as well as using football as an engagement tool to explore issues that affect local communities.

“I’m committed to delivering the objectives in my Police and Crime Plan and I know this work can only be achieved by speaking to our communities and those who work with them such as voluntary organisations and charities.

“This way, we can ensure we’re not only providing a service, but doing it in a way that brings the most benefit to everyone.

“I will continue to look for opportunities in the future to involve communities in the work we deliver, building on the already excellent relations we have in place.”

The report also makes mention of the Court Observers Panel. The initiative was established by Vera Baird and sees a panel of volunteers present at adult rape trials at Newcastle Crown Court to observe and report back on any unacceptable appearances of myths and stereotypes in court, such as the suggestion that victims have in some way contributed to what has happened.