Consultation on taxi licensing to protect passengers.

‘The current taxi licensing system is unfit for purpose and requires an urgent re-think’ says Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, following today’s (12, February, 2019) government announcement to launch a consultation on rules to improve passenger safety.

Dame Vera has repeatedly expressed concerns over the granting of taxi licences and the application of licensing conditions, which vary from authority to authority. Currently this means that a driver who is refused a licence in one local authority may get one from a less strict council and apply for trade in the area which thought they were unfit

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The three Police and Crime Commissioners for the North East have today slammed the Home Secretary for increasing council tax bills to fund policing, instead of the Government providing a fair funding settlement for the communities of Cleveland, Durham & Darlington and Northumbria.

Residents across the North East of England are facing a significant increase to the policing element of council tax as a consequence of the Government announcing that PCCs will be allowed to increase the precept by up to £24 per year for a Band D property. If this increase does not go ahead, it could mean



Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC responds to reports that Prosecutors have been urged to ditch “weak” rape cases to improve figures.

Dame Vera Baird said “This approach is completely hostile to the principle of access to justice. The point of the CPS is to bring fair prosecutions, not to deliberately avoid bringing them and to abandon hundreds of victims, in order to make their conviction rate look better.

I would be very surprised if there isn’t a judicial review here in the public interest.

If the CPS think that this will make them look better

continue reading BAIRD SLAMS CPS

Labour Conference 2018 Blog.

It was great to be at Labour Party conference in Liverpool – it’s always good to catch up with old friends, listen to debate and to see CLP delegates from across the country debating Labour Party policy and helping influence our party manifesto that may be needed sooner, rather than later.

Conference once again shows us why we need a Labour government (not just to clean up the mess the Prime Minister is making of Brexit), the Tories are failing hard working families, real wages are still lower than what they were in 2010 and millions of working families

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Brexit needs the best deal possible, not a no deal!

As the dark nights start to draw in, I think the Prime Minister will be having many dark days – wondering how to control her rebels over Brexit. The government are making a monumental hash up of this process, it is stumbling from crisis to crisis and as they do this they are failing to see the bigger picture and the damage they are doing to communities across our region.

In relation to policing, the Home Secretary needs to get a grip and start ensuring the various vital cooperation tools / mechanisms enabling the UK and the EU police

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The sun has certainly been blazing down – in the world of politics you could be forgiven for thinking this is Theresa May’s “Summer of Discontent” – she lost Boris from the Foreign Office, she lost David from the Brexit Office, her great plan for Brexit that she drew up at Chequers is now nigh on defunct and to add to her problems, she hosted Donald Trump and inflicted him on the Queen! There is a serious point to this – this government moves from crisis to crisis and is stumbling along at the behest of MPs like Jacob

continue reading Tory “Summer of Discontent” – We need change NOW!

Why MP Chope was wrong…….

As June comes to a close, we have seen the Tories losing control through the actions of Sir Christopher Chope MP – he shouted out the word “object” which stopped the bill to make upskirting a specific sexual offence under English law. His reason for stopping the bill, was that he wasn’t aware of the detail. That’s his problem, Chope is a prolific objector to Private Members Bills – this particular bill had the support of his own government, however,he used the feeble excuse that as a Minister supported the bill, it didn’t need to be brought to the

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OPCC signs up as a Mindful Employer

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria has signed up as a Mindful Employer.

Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC is now a signatory for the voluntary charter, which encourages organisations to show a positive attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues.

The Commissioner joins almost 1,900 organisations that have joined the charter for employers who are positive about mental health since it was launched in 2004.

At least 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. A survey by Mind revealed that nearly 9 in

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North East PCCs call to reduce the breathalyser limit

Today, the government has announced a number of measures to improve road safety – but miss out one important factor, reducing the limit. The three North East PCCs welcome any initiative that will help make our roads safer, but Commissioner Baird, along with her colleagues, Ron Hogg, PCC for Durham and Barry Coppinger, PCC for Cleveland have reinforced their call for the government to lower the drink drive limit.

Dame Vera Baird said “Scotland have already lead the way in reducing the drink drive limit to 50mg and it has had a real positive effect. In the first three

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Commissioner Baird calls on Home Secretary to take lead from Scottish Government

Labour MSPs have successfully ensured that the Scottish Government will hold an independent review into the actions of the police during the miners’ strike in Scotland.

Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria who was one of the barristers defending northern miners in the Orgreave Trial and who also acted in many other cases has given her support to the Scottish Government, and reiterated her call for the new Home Secretary to get a grip and order an inquiry into Orgreave and police conduct there, and in the many hundreds of other cases in which miners

continue reading Commissioner Baird calls on Home Secretary to take lead from Scottish Government