A top police officer has paid tribute to Northumbria crime commissioner Vera Baird after she was made a Dame in the Queen's New Year honours list.
The commissioner received the honour in recognition of her fight for gender equality and Northumbria Police chief constable Steve Ashman has today paid tribute to her, saying it is "absolutely right" that she received recognition for her work.
Chf con 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."