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PCC speaks at Labour Party Conference

29th September 2016

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird told the Labour Party annual conference in Liverpool that Labour PCCs were now a ‘permanent part of Labour in Government, using Labour values to transform crime prevention and community safety. ‘

‘Our re-elections and our success in taking three police commissioner seats from the Tories in May show that working within our communities is the route to success for us all’

Mrs Baird also reflected on the changing duties of police officers, she said that only 23% on average of calls to police concerned crime and the remainder were about welfare issues, an increase in those kind of calls since health and local authority cuts, with up to half of those calls concerning mental health. She quoted the highly successful mental health triage process in Northumbria and other forces where a community Psychiatric Nurse is on shift with officers, able to access health notes, as police cannot, when a person is causing concern and able to give immediate advice. This contrasts with the alternative of detaining and taking the person to a psychiatric centre for a sometimes lengthy wait, until an out of hours assessment could take place. Now people are diverted quickly into good health care, and many who police saw coming round and round in the same system do not appear and up to 300 police hours a month are being saved.”

She exhorted the new Home Secretary to make no more cuts to policing.