Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner has today visited colleagues in the North-East to look at opportunities for joint working and share best practice on issues including tackling violence against women and girls and restorative justice.
Cllr Emily Spurrell travelled to the region to visit Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird DBE QC and her counterpart for County Durham and Darlington, Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg, as well as members of their teams responsible for delivering key projects.
Emily kicked off her trip by heading to Newcastle to meet Dame Vera in her offices in the Balliol Business Park to discuss her work preventing and addressing Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG). This included an overview of Dame Vera’s success in securing £650,000 from the Home Office’s VAWG transformation fund for a range of new projects, including the pilot of three new witness advocates to improve the support offered to rape and sexual abuse victims through the court process, the development of the Northumbria Domestic Abuse Practitioner Standard to provide training for professionals and a pilot scheme to tackle cyber stalking and harassment.
The visit also gave Emily the opportunity to find out more about Northumbria’s Domestic Violence Champions Network, which sees more than 650 workplace champions offering support to colleagues who are suffering domestic abuse, and the Domestic Violence Support Advisors (DVSA) scheme which enables advisors to accompany police officers on patrol to ensure that appropriate support is given to domestic abuse victims at the earliest opportunity.
After leaving Vera’s office, Emily continued her trip by heading to Police Headquarters in Durham to meet Ron Hogg, who in 2016 changed his job title to Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) to emphasise his focus on victims.
The meeting gave the Deputy the chance to find out more about Durham’s Victim Care and Advice Service, which was commissioned in April 2016 to provide advice and support to victims and their families. She also took the chance to learn more about his work on developing a VAWG strategy and restorative justice.
Emily said: “It was a pleasure to visit the North-East and meet with both Dame Vera and Ron. They are running some really innovative and impressive schemes in conjunction with their respective police forces and some fantastic local partners to support victims of crime and keep their communities safe.
“This visit was an excellent opportunity to find out more about their really successful work, share best practice and discuss opportunities for working closer together with the aim of providing an even better service to victims of crime and local communities.
"It was also really useful to learn about their work focusing on VAWG which I will now feed into the strategy currently being developed in conjunction with the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor and Combined Authority.
“My thanks to Dame Vera and Ron for their warm welcome and time.
Northumbria PCC, Dame Vera Baird said: “Emily and I had a great discussion, I was pleased to share with her our work in tackling violence against women and girls in Northumbria and our partnership working initiatives such as the DV Champion. I look forward to receiving updates about the work undertaken in Merseyside by Jane and Emily.”
Durham PCVC Ron Hogg said: “It was great to meet Emily and hear about what she and Jane Kennedy are doing in Merseyside. Many PCCs are innovative in the work that they do, and it’s good to be able to learn from each other.”
Image: Cllr Emily Spurrell with County Durham and Darlington PCVC Ron Hogg