Cllr Ann O'Byrne
Cllr Ann O'Byrne was Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner between May 19th, 2014, and 18th June, 2015, with a special remit to focus on victims.
Ann, who was Liverpool City Council Assistant at the time, joined Jane Kennedy’s office with the specific aim of concentrating on new responsibilities given to Commissioners to commission vital support services for victims of crime.
Ann also took responsibility for increasing the use of restorative justice in the region and the development of community remedies – giving victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour a say in the punishment of the offender and again putting victims at the heart of delivering justice.
At the time of her appointment, Jane said: “I am delighted Ann has joined my team to work alongside me in supporting those who have been affected by crime and anti-social behaviour and keeping our communities safe.
“Ann has a long and distinguished track record serving the people of Merseyside. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge which will be invaluable in helping me ensure all victims on Merseyside are listened to, understood and fully supported.
“She already has strong relationships with many partners in the criminal justice, community, faith and voluntary sectors and she has spent many years campaigning to reduce anti-social behaviour.”
Since Police and Crime Commissioners were elected in November 2012, their remit in relation to victims has grown. In autumn 2013, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced Commissioners’ responsibilities would expand to include a wider range of victims’ support services.
For March 2015 to March 2016, the MoJ allocated a budget of approximately £1.5m for Merseyside and this included the delivery of some services for victims of sexual offences, domestic violence and those affected by anti-social behaviour and hate crime.
Read more about these Commissioning responsibilities.
Jane said: “The coalition Government has added to our remit as Commissioners. Commissioning support services for victims is a significant piece of work.
“Victims are always at the heart of my priorities and should be for the criminal justice system. That is why I have appointed Ann to focus on this critical area of work.
“My priority must be to commission the best possible services for victims. This is a tough task made even harder by the financial constraints we are facing and the devastating cuts to the budgets of our community safety allies.”
Read the Rationale Report behind Jane's decision to appoint a Deputy, which was provided to the Police and Crime Panel.
About Cllr Ann O'Byrne
Ann had served the people of Merseyside as a Councillor for seven years prior to being appointed Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. At the time of her appointment, she was Assistant Mayor in Liverpool, Councillor for Warbreck ward and Cabinet member for Housing. She joined the Commissioner’s office three days a week to focus on the new victims' portfolio of work.
Ann, who was born in the Lodge Lane area of Liverpool and grew up in Kirkby, has dedicated her career to community development. She started her working life at a children’s home in Knowsley where she spent three years working as a residential social worker. She also worked for the West Everton community before deciding to stand for election in 2007.
When Labour took control of the council in May 2010, Ann was chosen to be Cabinet member for Community Safety, with responsibility for community cohesion, equality and diversity, the youth offending service and hate crime. She was proud to play her part in helping to establish Liverpool Pride, a weekend-long festival to celebrate LGBT culture in the city and White Ribbon Day, a national awareness day to stop domestic violence against women.
Ann’s role then expanded to encompass housing, before she became Cabinet member for housing two years ago. As the Mayor’s lead for housing, Ann has been responsible for delivering 5,000 new homes and the refurbishment of 1,000 new homes as an integral element of Liverpool’s regeneration.
Ann was previously chair of the Citysafe board, where she worked closely with the police, probation, prison service and other key partners to reduce crime and disorder in the city. She is a member of both the Hillsborough group and is Chair of the Ground Safety Group, Regeneration Liverpool and the Liverpool Strategic Housing Partnership. She was also Vice Chair of the Police and Crime Panel - the board which scrutinises the Commissioner’s performance and her work in holding the Chief Constable to account - for the first year.
At the time of her appointment, Ann said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity to serve the people of Merseyside. This is a fantastic chance to work with the Commissioner, Merseyside Police, all our regional partners and – most importantly of all – people in Merseyside to reduce crime, tackle anti-social behaviour and protect and support victims.
"This is an extremely important area of work. The public want victims to be our priority and I am committed to ensuring this is the case.
“In this era of budget cuts, it is vital all the agencies that are working to cut crime and improve community safety pull together. I am committed to bringing together all partners who work together to protect, advise and support victims to ensure we get it right.
“We cannot let services slip or vulnerable people fall between the gaps.”
Read Ann's full Personal Statement
Ann's declaration of interests 2015
Ann's declaration of interests 2014
Ann joined the Commissioner’s office as a political appointment. She earnt £31,800 per annum, the equivalent of the Deputy Mayor Special Responsibility Allowance within Liverpool City Council. Read the full Statement of Particulars of Terms and Conditions of Ann's contract of employment.
The Commissioner's decision to appoint a Deputy and her rationale behind selecting Ann are detailed in Key Decisions 2014.
Please also find the Commissioner's letter to the Police and Crime Panel informing them of her decision to appoint Ann following the Confirmation Hearing.