Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird paid tribute to Nelson Mandela who died aged 95. She has described him as the “greatest freedom fighter”, adding South Africa’s first black president had led "an entire generation". Vera Baird met Mr Mandela at a ceremony where she became a QC.
Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has backed calls by outgoing Director of Public Prosecution, Keir Starmer, to bring in the mandatory reporting of child abuse suspicions for people working with children.
"Professional people who deal with children from teachers and social workers to healthcare professionals are in a prime position to assess their wellbeing.
"They already have a moral duty reinforced by statutory guidance to report their suspicions of child abuse, but time and time again we find this is not sufficient to compel them to do so.
"Putting victims first is one of my police and crime objectives. Children are among the most vulnerable members of our society and it is important they receive protection from abuse and that their safety is paramount and fully recognised in law."
– Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird
Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner has pledged to press the Government to close a 'loophole' which allows sex offenders to serve their sentences in the community.
Vera Baird QC has the support of one of the most senior judges in the country, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Gross.
“It’s an extremely unfortunate situation that judges are finding the public will be better-served if they sentence offenders, who should go to prison, to non-custodial sentences because the very sex offence courses that are so rare in prison are more readily available in the community.
“Not only does this mean that sex offenders are receiving over-lenient sentences, it also releases them into the community to start the course so, for a time, the public faces an undesirable and unnecessary risk before the offender completes their programme."
Organisers of a domestic abuse awareness conference, which is being held today (29th August), has 'doubled in size' because of unexpected public support. What was set to be a small conference has now attracted the interest of 150 delegates.
“I care passionately about tackling domestic abuse and I’m taking an active personal lead in my role as Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.
“This conference, which brings together partners from agencies across Northumberland, will help us work together to reduce domestic abuse and make people safer.”
– Vera Baird
The “Enough” conference in Ashington, Northumberland, is being backed by Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Vera Baird will give a key speech about the issue. She says it is a priority in her future plan.
The event is been organised by The Safer Northumberland Partnership and Northumberland Safeguarding Children’s Board. (NSCB)
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Northumbria area is backing a summer crackdown on opportunist crime.Vera Baird has welcomed the results of Operation Soundwave - which saw more than 1,000 people arrested in one month.
“Being a victim of crime can have a massive personal impact on people’s lives and it's vital we continue to seek to reduce crime across our communities.” "Operations like this demonstrate the police are taking a strong stance against criminals who commit this type of crime, while further initiatives are in the pipeline to target other offences. “However I know police can't do this alone and I'm committed to ensuring Community Safety Partnerships work with people in our neighbourhoods to reduce crime and re-offending and cut the number of victims of crime."
– Vera Baird
Soundwave is the Northumbria Police operation aimed at tackling opportunist thieves. It led to 1,218 arrests, 214 warrants and 825 house searches during July.
People in South Tyneside are being urged by Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner to report nuisance motorbikers.
Officers have been carrying out extra patrols to tackle anti-social use of motorbikes. It follows complaints about high speeds in the Reginald Street and Sidney Street areas of Boldon Colliery.
"Additional patrols are taking place and we’re working with partners to prevent offences and reduce speeding in the area. "We're working to identify which bikes are involved and who the riders are to ensure they are spoken to and if necessary take positive action – such as seizing the bike and taking enforcement action against the person responsible. "We're keen to tackle the issues of most concern to residents and I'd urge anyone with information to get in touch with us."
– Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Hudson
"I'm committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in all its forms and the illegal use of motorbikes can put people’s lives at risk. "Complaints have been received about the use of bikes in this area, mainly during the day and early evening, and I welcome the police efforts to identify those involved and take positive action. "The help of the public is vital and I’d urge residents to report information about the bikes and people involved so action can be taken to address the issue."
Vera Baird, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, has promised to take action if mistakes were made by police officers over the rape of a teenage girl.
A 17-year-old was raped by two men after a night out in Newcastle. Police officers spoke to her while she was with one of her attackers, told her to go home and then left her with the man - and the attack continued.