Christmas message from PCC Vera Baird QC
19 Dec 2016 09:00 AM[View Full Size]
“It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of 2016 already, who would have thought at the beginning of the year we would have voted to leave Europe, have a new Prime Minister and that Donald Trump would be elected President! As the saying goes “a week is a long time in politics”.
Over the next few weeks we will be catching up with family, enjoying a mince pie (or two) and reminiscing about what has happened over the year. Throughout the festive period, hardworking police officers and staff, fire fighters, 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.
2016 has been a difficult year, we continue to provide policing against an ever decreasing budget from government. I have ensured that we continue to stretch every pound as far as we can, 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 this May, I promised to continue bringing 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 and Horsley Hill to name but a few. All savings made will be re-invested back in to policing.
Victims First Northumbria continue to 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 2017.
The Policing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, has recently announced police funding for 2017/18, I will start the new year reviewing all budgets to try and ensure we can absorb all the commitments we have – I will keep you updated about that in the weeks and months ahead.
As I sign off for 2016, 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, secure and stay in touch”.
Vera Baird QC