Businesses back crime commissioner Vera Baird's campaign

Top businesses in the North East have given their backing to a campaign launched by crime commissioner Vera Baird

Northumbria Police Commissioner Vera Baird
Northumbria Police Commissioner Vera Baird

Top businesses in the North East have given their backing to a campaign launched by crime commissioner Vera Baird to help employees experiencing domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

Northern Recruitment Group, Helen McArdle Care, Ringtons Tea and Phoenix Security are among the well-known names who have committed to adopting a workplace strategy to spot the signs of domestic abuse and to offer support to its employees.

Statistics show domestic abuse costs companies £12bn a year in lost productivity and output, costing the UK economy almost £1.9bn every year.

The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria Vera Baird is organising an event for employers on Monday, March 3, to discuss the domestic and sexual violence and abuse in the workplace strategy.

The commissioner said: “I’m delighted that these companies are among the first to sign up to our event in Newcastle.

“We know that good policies already exist in some major companies, businesses and public authorities and it’s encouraging that we’ve already had such a good response from employers in the region.”

There are still places available for the event and Vera said she wants to hear from directors and senior managers of organisations in Newcastle who want to find out more about how they can help their employees.

She added that while the workplace is often the only place where people are free from the violence and abuse they are subjected to at home, it can also put people at greater risk of harm as it can often be the only place where their partner can find them.

She said: “Sometimes their workplace can also put people at greater risk of harm as, following a separation, it can be the only place where their partner can find them. All of this means that employers need to demonstrate a real interest in this issue by taking on a workplace policy and the aim is to make it an accepted component of modern businesses.”

Phoenix Security, which provides door supervisors to a number of national venues said it was proud to support this important issue.

Managing director Steve Howe said: “Phoenix Security recognises that domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on the lives of those involved and will take all necessary steps to intervene, advise, support and guide any of its employees who find themselves in this situation.”

Firms interested in attending the event can contact Violence Against Women Project Officer Sue Smith at sue.smith@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk by Friday, 28 February, 2014.

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