Sunderland domestic violence charity backs ex-MP to become police commissioner

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A CHARITY on Wearside has come out in support for a candidate for the new role of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.

Wearside Women in Need, a women’s refuge charity, is throwing its weight behind former Redcar MP Vera Baird’s election campaign for the new role.

The position has been created by the Coalition Government for all police forces and will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their area.

Former Mayor of Sunderland Tom Foster has also thrown his hat in the ring for the role. Click here to read more

Claire Phillipson, director of Wearside Women in Need, said: “The role of commissioner will have massive implications for our services and how we help victims of crime.

“Currently the Safer Sunderland partnership deals with a lot of these issues but a lot of that remit will be transferred to the new commissioner role.

“It’s important that we have someone who is prepared to protect people who don’t have the strongest voice.

“We think Northumbria Police are great and they have led the way in fighting domestic violence but we are frightened that if we don’t have strong leadership from the commissioner a lot of the work which has gone on will down the drain.

“That is why we are backing Vera to be Labour’s candidate for commissioner.”

Baird, 62, a barrister and political activist, lost her Redcar seat in the 2010 general election, but she is hoping for a return to the front line of public life in this new role.

She said: “I am asking for your support in the selection for the Labour candidate for Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

“I believe I have the experience, knowledge, skills and vision to deliver the strong police and community services demanded by our community and to properly support victims of crime.

“I have a record as a fighter and the tenacity needed to protect the frontline and fight against this Government.

“The stakes in this election are huge.

“As your candidate, I would bring all my experience to bear to help lead a successful campaign for Labour.”

Twitter: @tomwhite7