My last newsletter of 2022 and what a year it’s been. Just as we started to put the upset of Covid behind us, we find ourselves caught up in a cost-of-living crisis - not quite been the light at the end of the tunnel we had hoped for.

If we take a look at our region’s food banks, and soup kitchens packed with volunteers coming to the rescue of those fighting poverty this Christmas we can see the community spirit here in the North East is like no other. We shouldn’t be in a situation where so many rely on others for basic needs like food and shelter though. Not only are families struggling but our services too - our police, our schools desperate for funding to keep doing good things. Despite the challenges, we’ve all been doing our best though, and I’m proud of the work my office has been delivering to tackle your priorities.

In 2022, we’ve:

-Commissioned 123 organisations to support victims and communities in our region 
-Engaged with 28,488 students on violence prevention
-Seen those engaging in our custody diversion project reduce their involvement in crime by 75%
-Rolled out a Safer Transport Northumbria App
And lots, lots more.

I want to thank everyone who has played a part in my goal of fighting poverty and fighting crime and I hope together we continue to improve lives for the people of our region in 2023.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Kim McGuinness
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner


Money seized from drug dealers and fraudsters to be channelled back into communities ahead of Christmas

£177,000 worth of money that crime fighting officers have seized from drug dealers, human traffickers and thieves, will be used to benefit grass root causes, as part of the latest round of my Operation Payback fund.  The fund uses monies obtained through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). For example, in Sunderland, cash and assets with a total value of £57,685 were seized by officers when a man was arrested for drug possession with intent to supply, as well as kidnap. The offender is now serving time in a prison in Belgium. These money will now go into the Operation Payback funding pot, and I’ll be using it to invest in game changing ideas to give local kids opportunities and keep them out of trouble both during school holidays and throughout the year. Successful bids will be announced in the new year.



Help point installed at Newcastle’s Leazes Park as part of my ongoing fight to improve women’s safety

The new technology has been introduced in partnership with Urban Green and the council. It’s about reassuring park users and deterring potential perpetrators from committing unacceptable behaviours.

Leazes is a popular park right in the heart of our city and I don’t want anything to stand in people’s way from getting out there and enjoying it.

This help point shows we have listened, and we are acting on women’s concerns and suggestions. It’s just one example of a range of solutions being rolled out to make public spaces safer across our region.



Family and friends told to be on the lookout for domestic abuse red flags when around loved ones this Christmas

Sunderland-based charity Wearside Women in Need has set-up the Findaway project this year specifically to help concerned mums, dads, friends and colleagues – as research has revealed 62 per cent of survivors tell a friend or family member about the abuse before telling anyone else. I’m urging anyone worried about someone else’s relationship not to turn a blind eye and to call Findaway for advice. Historically, domestic abuse rates rise during the festive period and experts fear this year numbers will be made even worse, as situations are impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. We all need to be on the lookout.



Vanessa Jardine is set to lead Northumbria Police’s fight against crime in Spring 2023. She is currently Deputy Chief Constable at West Midlands Police. I look forward to working with her on securing a great future for our region.


My Christmas card this year was designed by Academy 360 student and Mini Police Volunteer, Khyler, age 9. This sparkly, festive design gives a perfect nod to thank all our police officers working to keep us safe over the Christmas period. We love it - great job, Khyler.

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