Press release

Monday 20 August 2012

For immediate use

Vera Baird QC pledges to put victims of crime first

Vera Baird QC, Labour’s candidate for Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner has signed up to support Victim Support’s five basic rights for victims of crime and pledged to secure improvements in the way victims are treated by the local criminal justice system if elected in November’s elections.

Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. The charity believes that victims should:
·receive respect, recognition and support
·get information and an explanation about the progress of their case. Victims should also have the chance to explain the financial, physical and emotional effects of the crime and this information should be considered whenever decisions are made about their case
·be protected in any way necessary
·receive compensation
·be free of the burden of decisions relating to the offender.

Discussion of the five pledges at Wearside Women in Need, August 2012

Signing the pledges at Northumberland & North Tyneside Victim Support, Vera Baird QC said:

“The rights of victims of crime are extremely important. As some one who has worked in the justice system for the past 30 years, I’ve seen first hand the devastating impact crime can have on individuals and the effects can last for years.”

“We have made great strides in improving how we treat victims. As Solicitor General in the last government I established Victim Care Units within the Crime Prosecution Service to back up the great work of Victim Support. However, we can still make improvements in how we deal with the victims of crime. As Police & Crime Commissioner I would do all I can to make the criminal justice system work better for victims of crime.”

Vera continued:

“I am hugely impressed by the work of Victim Support here in Northumbria. They do great work in supporting individuals and championing change. I’m pleased to show my support for their work.”

Ends

Editor’s notes:
1. Elections for the first Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner will take place on Thursday 15 November. Police & Crime Commissioners will replace Police Authorities.
2. Vera Baird QC is the Labour Party’s candidate for Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner. Vera has worked with the police for over 30 years, as a campaigning laywer, in Parliament and as Solicitor General, the House of Common’s most senior law officer.

For more information, please contact Neil Fleming, Regional Communications Officer, Labour North on 07843 344 315

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