Vera Baird

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Christmas Message from Commissioner Baird

14th December 2017

As the year draws to a close, we can look back on what has been an eventful and busy 12 months for Northumbria Police.

Despite all the challenges our police officers and staff continue to deliver an excellent service to our communities. 

We will soon be sitting down to Christmas lunch with family and friends, rightly enjoying the time spent together. I’ve no doubt there will be reminiscing over a glass of wine (or two).

During this time our hardworking police officers and staff, firefighters, nurses, doctors and medical staff will be working to keep us safe. Many won’t be spending Christmas with their family. 

I am very grateful for their commitment and dedication. If you are out and about over Christmas and you see your local community beat officer, wish them a merry Christmas, they’ll appreciate it.

This year continued to see our budget from central Government being cut. Since 2010 we have seen over £124m taken from our finances – and the cuts continue.

However, despite this challenge, the Chief Constable and I have ensured that we continue to squeeze every penny out of every pound. We have looked for savings in every department. 

Prudent financial management has allowed us to recruit new police officers. I know you will welcome this as this is what you have told me you want to see – police officers on the beat. 

When I was first elected in 2012, and re-elected last year, I promised to continue to bring police officers closer to the communities they serve.

I’m delighted that right across the force area we have been able to re-locate police officers to new community bases, providing state-of-the- art facilities.

You may have seen the new bases in Sunderland, Whitley Bay, Hebburn, Prudhoe and Horsley Hill to name but a few.  All savings made will be re-invested back in to policing.

We continue to work hard to ensure victims of crime remain at the heart of everything we do. We work closely with our partners at Victims First Northumbria, who excel in delivering support for victims of crime.

Northumbria is still recognised as one of the forces delivering the best services to victims of crime – this will continue in the year ahead. 

At the time of writing this column, we await the police funding for 2018/19 – if past years are anything to go by we know what to expect.

I will start the New Year reviewing all budgets to try and ensure we can absorb all the commitments we have, whilst ensuring neighbourhood policing remains at the heart of policing in Northumbria.

As I sign off for 2017, I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and New Year. 

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for a neighbour who may be on their own.  Keep warm and secure.