Vera Baird

Banner Image of Vera Baird

Putting Victims First

Working together in Northumbria

Victims of crime continue to be the main focus of what we do.  This is why I set up Victims First Northumbria (you can read more about their work further on in the report).  I continue to work closely with Community Safety Partnerships to allow them to address issues in their local authority areas.

Some of the ways I will continue to make a difference in 2015-16

  • Victim focused triage training for all communications staff;

  • Enhance IT systems to support effective Case Management System;

  • Maintain high satisfaction levels with the service we provide to victims; and

  • Continue to develop and enhance Victims First Northumbria.

 Supporting Victims of Crime

From the Ministry of Justice devolved funding to PCCS nationally for victims services I established Victims First Northumbria so that the highest quality of services can be delivered to help victims cope and recover from their experience.

This service is unique in that it gives victims a single point of contact for all their support and needs. It is an independent referral service which began operating on April 1st 2015.

Some victims may not reach out for help until a later date so this service is there to cater for those later needs as well as offer practical help such as crime prevention advice. Whoever the victim, and whatever the crime they have suffered, they will always be put first and given the best service possible.

Northumbria Police Chief Constable, Steve Ashman, said: “Victims First Northumbria ensures victims receive an enhanced service, giving them the help, support and advice to meet their exact needs while also putting them in touch with other specialist support agencies with the overall aim of helping them to cope and recover from their experience.”

“In keeping with the Putting Victims First ethos, victims are at the heart of what we do. As a force, we focus on those crimes and incidents which have the greatest impact on victims and we ensure our victim care is the best it can be.

For more information on Victims First Northumbria, visit the website or contact the service’s dedicated free phone number – 0800 011 3116.

To read about your rights and entitlements as a victim of crime please read the Victims Code of Practice leaflet published by the Ministry of Justice.

An updated Code of Practice was published in October 2015 and can be found here

If you have been a victim of crime and would like to tell us about your experience and the support you received please contact

Putting Victims First – Message from Vera Baird

Putting victims first is at the centre of everything we do when providing a police service and is vitally important to securing the right criminal justice outcomes and improve victim satisfaction. In my Police and Crime Plan I promised to make a difference to you by:

  • Providing vulnerable victims of crime with personal support and firm action

  • Involving victims of crime in the shaping of police responses to victims

  • Ensuring victims are kept up to date with progress of their case

  • Developing a tailored approach to victims of crime including restorative justice

  • Improving our victims and witnesses experience at court


In 2013-14 I have worked to deliver those promises and have

  • INTRODUCED a South of Tyne Street Triage Team, this team of dedicated police officers work alongside mental health nurses when incidents involve people with mental health problems.  The team provide additional support and diversion to appropriate health care services.

  • ESTABLISHED two multi-agency operational teams using Police Innovation Funding, one covers the north of the river and the other south.  The teams will tackle child exploitation, vulnerability and modern day slavery.

  • SECURED funding for a support worker to interact with Newcastle’s most frequent missing young people and introduce measures to reduce this.

  • ENDORSED the National Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat working with local partners including health to improve outcomes for people experiencing mental health crisis, particularly when in contact with the criminal justice system.