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Vera Baird Praised at Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture

20th February 2015

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird was given a special mention in the Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture by the Home Secretary.

The Commissioner’s work in championing ending violence against women and girls was mentioned at the yearly Criminal Justice Lecture.

She made particular reference to the 165 Domestic Violence Champions created in the Northumbria Police region as part of the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy introduced by the three north east Commissioners in 2013.

Mrs May said this work, along with the work of other Police and Crime Commissioners around the country, was tackling issues important to the public and helping to rebuild the relationship between the public and the police.

“They will ensure proper accountability of the use of sensitive powers, help forces improve the response to victims and the vulnerable, prevent miscarriages of justice from happening again and where things have gone wrong they will help us to put them right,” Mrs May said.

The Commissioner Vera Baird said it was good that the important work being carried out in the north east region had been mentioned at such an important event.

“To be mentioned as part of an event honouring the life of Stephen Lawrence and the work of his parents, family and friends is a true honour,” the Commissioner said.

“When I was elected as Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner I asked the residents of this region what was important to them and what they wanted me to task the Chief Constable with to deliver their priorities.

“Domestic and sexual abuse was amongst those priorities and through the VAWG strategy we have been tackling this important issue with new initiatives.

“These include the workplace strategy with Domestic Violence Champions and a scheme where refuge workers attend high risk domestic violence calls with officers ensuring that at the same time the perpetrator is being dealt with, the victims get the help they need.”

The Commissioner added: “In the short time we’ve been running the strategy a lot of good work has been carried out and we have seen more people taking the brave step of seeking help and a pathway to safety.

“I will ensure through my Police and Crime plan that this work and the work involved with the other priorities I made continues to grow.”