Chief Constable praises Vera Baird after she is made a Dame in New Year honours

31 Dec 2016 10:00 AM

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Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman has paid tribute to Police and crime commissioner Vera Baird QC after she was made a Dame in the Queen's New Year honours list.

The Commissioner received the honour in recognition of a life-long fight for gender equality and Chief Constable Steve Ashman has today paid tribute to the Commissioner, saying it is "absolutely right" that she received recognition for her work.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “I am delighted that Vera is to be awarded in this way. It is a fitting tribute not just for her work as a Police and Crime Commissioner but for the many years of determined effort she has put into challenging inequality and championing equal rights.

"She is a hugely committed public servant who passionately cares about her work and it is absolutely right that she receive such recognition."

Upon receiving news of the honour, Ms Baird said: “This was very delightful and surprising news. I am particularly pleased that the award specifically refers to services to the cause of women and equality, recognising that gender equality is desirable for the country and for everyone in it. There have been great advances but there is still more to do.

"It is important we also continue addressing other forms of equality, across race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and the other protected strands in the Equality Act 2010, which I helped to take through Parliament, as Solicitor General.

"I have been a longstanding equality campaigner, as a lawyer, an MP a Government Minister and now as Police and Crime Commissioner, in particular tackling the significant interference with human rights caused by violence against women and girls, still rife in our society.

"Many others have worked equally hard and our greatest task ahead is fundamentally to change the culture so that no such violence is ever acceptable and those who perpetrate it are rejected.

She added: “I feel truly proud to receive this honour, and see it as giving the cause of equality a boost. I would like to thank all the many people who have supported, helped and encouraged me over the years. We must continue to work together to achieve the equality we are fighting for."