Vera Baird

Banner Image of Vera Baird

2015 – 2016

This page tells you all about the grants and awards I have made in 2015-16 to help deliver priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.

From the 1st April 2015 Police and Crime Commissioners were made responsible for providing key emotional and practical support services for victims of crime in their locality.  Funding to support this is provided by the Ministry of Justice through an allocation based on a population formula which in Northumbria means a grant of £1,590,062.

Crime can leave victims feeling upset, scared and intimidated and it was felt by the Government that PCCs with their local knowledge are best placed to target funding where the help is most needed.

In addition to this avenue of funding PCCs can make grants as outlined in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2012 to contribute to securing crime and disorder reduction in their area.  I have set aside savings made from my own office costs to make the overall grants programme possible this year.

The main focus of my grants programme 2015-16 is to support the Police and Crime Plan objective ‘putting victims first’.  We have developed policy direction based on an assessment of need and selected the most appropriate delivery mechanism by which to satisfy need in top quality provision in a cost effective way.

Information on each of the grants and awards made as part of my 2015-16 programme can be found below

Victims First Northumbria


£761,882 has been awarded to Victims First, completely revitalising the victim referral process and services for victims of crime in Northumbria.  Victims First Northumbria enables all victims of crime, direct and indirect such as parents, siblings, children and partners to cope and recover from the impact of crime.

Victims First Northumbria provides a ‘one stop shop’ for victim services.  The service provided to all victims, both who report to the police and those who do not will be offered support that generally falls into four broad categories;

  • Initial emotional and practical support including signposting
  • More detailed/longer term emotional and practical support
  • Support and referral to existing specialist services that can help a victim cope and recover
  • Referral to victim services commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

You can find out more about the Victims First service by visiting their website www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

Strengthening Specialist Victim Services – Supporting Victims Fund


One of the main ways I have allocated funding during 2015-16 is through my Supporting Victims Fund.  The aim of the fund is to maximise the potential of organisations to deliver vital services supporting victims of crime in the Northumbria area, helping them to cope and cover from their experience.  The fund was launched to strengthen the overall offer of support to victims in Northumbria and improves and widens the services available to our most vulnerable and priority victims.  Priority victims are those that are entitled to an enhanced support service under the Victims Code of practice, Victims Charter and the EU Directive for Victims of Crime.

Our assessment of need and the key priorities of this fund is based upon Northumbria wide and local strategic assessments identifying levels of crime and new and emerging crimes and issues facing our area where victim needs may arise.  We have also carried out our own local research and consultation with individual victims, victims groups and service providers to best understand the victim services landscape and victim needs.

A profile of our most vulnerable victims and some of the key issues the grants programme addresses are listed below.

Domestic abuse and sexual violence – victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence account for 52% of the most vulnerable victims in Northumbria.  Taking into consideration what we know about local services and issues facing victims we particularly supported projects that help to strengthen specialist support for female and male victims, enhanced provision for minority ethnic victims, earlier access to support and projects to break the generational cycle of abuse.

Victims under 18 – Victims under 18 account for approximately 34% of the most vulnerable victims in Northumbria. Taking into consideration what we know about local services and issues facing victims we particularly supported projects that help to strengthen direct emotional support for young people following a crime, school based support and guidance, support for young victims of domestic and sexual violence and breaking the cycle of victim to offender.

Victims of hate crime – Victims of hate crime make up approximately 7% of the most vulnerable victims in Northumbria. Taking into consideration what we know about local services and issues facing victims we particularly supported projects that help to provide personal support for repeat victims of all hate crime, building trust and confidence in public authorities, building community cohesion and support for victims of race hate crime.

Victims with mental health needs and those who are vulnerable due to risk of abuse/harm – Victims with mental health needs and those who are vulnerable due to risk of abuse/harm account for 7% of the most vulnerable victims in Northumbria.  Taking into consideration what we know about local services and issues facing victims we particularly supported projects that help to strengthen specialist support for those victims of crime who are vulnerable due to a mental health need and support for older victims of crime.

A range of grant awards have been made as part of the PCCs Supporting Victims Fund, which was an extremely detailed and competitive process.  You can view the organisations I have supported during 2015-16 here.

You can view the terms and conditions of the Supporting Victims Fund grants by clicking here

Commissioners Community Fund


Since my appointment as Police and Crime Commissioner I have also supported many local groups and charities through my Commissioner’s Community Fund. Groups have been able to apply for funding up to a maximum of £2,000 to locally support me in addressing the priorities with-in my Police and Crime Plan, which are supporting victims, tackling anti-social behaviour, dealing with domestic and sexual abuse, promoting crime prevention or helping to reduce crime.

You can view the groups I have supported during 2015-16 here.

You can view the terms and conditions of the Commissioner’s Community Fund Grants by clicking here

Other Grants and Awards


In addition to the above grants I have also supported several other projects that help to drive delivery of priorities as outlined in my Police and Crime Plan.

Youth Offending Teams – £30,000 has been made available to each Youth Offending Team in the Northumbria area to increase their local activity to help deliver interventions as part of the Community Remedy.   The Community Remedy is a local menu of options available to the police to deal swiftly with offenders of low level crimes and incidents.  The projects locally will help to reduce youth re-offending and will most importantly allow for victims to be involved in the decision making about the offenders retribution and in many cases will help with victim recovery following the crime or incident.

Anti-Social Behaviour Volunteer Network – Last year I supported North Tyneside Council to launch their ‘volunteer victim support group’ to support victims of anti-social behaviour to cope and recover following an incident or sustained attacks.  The project has proved successful with 16 ASB Volunteers trained to support those in need.  This year I am working with all six local authorities to establish similar projects across Northumbria, to strengthen and complement the overall support available for victims of ASB.  £105,000 in total has been made available to directly support those areas that wish to develop this opportunity locally.

Northumbria Domestic Abuse Practitioner Standard – Following support from Community Safety Partnership Chairs across Northumbria the PCC is working with local authorities and Northumbria Police to develop a domestic abuse practitioner training programme that will strengthen the support available to victims of domestic abuse.  It is widely understood that risk in a domestic abuse setting is extremely volatile and it is important that victims should be provided with consistent support from professionals regardless of changes to their assessed level of risk.   Far too often victims are passed between domestic abuse services because it is perceived the level of risk towards them has changed, this often does not provide the level and sustained support needed to assist victims to break the cycle of abuse and recover from their experience.  Training domestic abuse practitioners across Northumbria to a consistent standard that means they can confidently and competently support victims who are deemed to be at any level of risk, from high to standard, will help to ensure a more co-ordinated, seamless service with greater outcomes for victims of abuse.   The local authority areas of Gateshead and Sunderland will be directly supported to pilot the training programme in their areas with an evaluation into the impact following later next year with a view to rolling out the programme across Northumbria.

Show Racism the Red Card - is an anti racism charity that was established in 1996. The organisation utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society. The majority of the campaign’s output is the delivery of education to young people and adults in their schools, their workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. Across Britain, Show Racism the Red Card delivers training to more than 50,000 individuals per year. To help support the work of the charity i have donated £2500.

Monitoring and Evaluation


All grants have been provided with the agreement that output and outcome monitoring information will be provided at the six month point and again at the end of the project in April 2016.  The OPCC grants programme will be evaluated in full and a summary reported in the PCCs Annual Report 2015-16 in June 2016.  In the case of many larger grants evaluation has been built into the project design and application for funding.

If you would like to find out more information about my grants programme this year please don’t hesitate to contact my office at rachel.snaith@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk