Vera Baird

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Community Confidence

Since I was elected in 2012 Improving Community Confidence has been one of my Police and Crime Plan priorities. Some of the successes in increasing Community Confidence are:


  • Publishing a Local Policing Summary which is delivered to all households, providing key information to residents on crime reduction and partnership working in their area.

  • Focussing attention on putting people first with great results in particular for vulnerable people.

  • Changing the culture in how Northumbria Police handle complaints with the setting up of a Triage Team where all complaints initially come through a team in my office for initial assessment and management.

  • Listening and meeting with a wide range of local people and groups to listen to their views on the police.

  • Influencing the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s Oversight and Confidence Strategy  to ensure that public access to the police complaint process must be considered to make sure that those with differing needs are provided with the same opportunity  to make a complaint.

  • Ensuring that police Neighbourhood Teams are accessible by reviewing Area Command engagement strategies and improve identification of community needs.

  • Working with Northumbria Police to develop a Volunteers Strategy promoting opportunities to the public.

  • Championing Operation Dragoon – making the roads safer through a targeted programme of enforcement and education.

  • Overseeing the work of the North East Special Operations Unit to continue to dismantle organised crime groups and bring them to justice.

  • Making decisions about the police estate so that Neighbourhood Teams remain accessible.

  • Introducing a complaints Charter to further improve the complaints process, reduce appeals and increase satisfaction with how complaints against the force are managed.

  • Ensuring that in 100% of complaints cases the investigating officer makes contact with the complainant within 24hours of the registration of a complaint.

Much of the successes in increasing Community Confidence in Northumbria have been down to working in partnership with local authorities, groups, individuals and organisations. Further information regarding the work I have undertaken since my election can be found by accessing the links below:

Working Together in 2013-14

Working Together in 2014-15

Working Together in 2015-16

How I am working to increase Community Confidence in Northumbria


If the public is not confident in local policing and community safety, it may suffer unnecessary fear of crime. By speaking to people and promoting the good work it does, our police force builds good relationships.

The police need the public and the public need the police. We have introduced a Complaints Charter to improve the complaints process. We aim to reduce the number of appeals against Northumbria Police and increase satisfaction with how complaints are managed.

Our Complaints Triage is a simple system from my office. Staff phone every complainant within 24 hours and if it is suitable, offer to resolve their concern informally. However, they make very clear that the formal route is available. By discussion and negotiation they usually resolve 60% of complaints within a few days, with a very high satisfaction rate. Our triage process is now available for all PCCs since it was established as a material option in the Police and Crime Act 2017. That is very pleasing.

Frontline officers now have more time available to deal with serious incidents since we introduced a system of resolving some incidents over the phone with the agreement of the caller rather than sending out an officer. If anyone wants, or needs, an officer to attend, one will always do so.


My Police and Crime Plan Commitment to improving Community Confidence


  • Engage with communities to build relationships and to provide safety advice, education and guidance in particular to young people, vulnerable people and marginalised communities.

  • Ensure that communities approve of the level of police visibility in their neighbourhood.

  • First responders will respond swiftly in a professional manner, assessments of vulnerability will be robust and crimes recorded accurately.

  • Ensure high standards of police conduct are maintained with police officers behaving ethically and lawfully.

  • Ensure transparent and neutral handling of police complaints.

  • Join up emergency services activities where we can deliver savings and improve services.

  • Monitor hate crime post BREXIT, ensuring a swift and strong response while promoting diversity and tolerance amongst our communities.

  • Consider resource and workforce planning in partnership with other key organisations, based on evidence of likely future demand.

  • Continue to deliver good value for public money through effective police governance.

What will be achieved


  • Improved police and partnership response to specific crimes.

  • Specific intervention and response to alcohol related crime and disorder.

  • Safer night-time economy.

  • Fewer offenders, specifically those who cause the most harm to victims.

  • Cut drug use and the crime that is a consequence.