New chief executive for Victims First Northumbria

Ruth Parker and Vera Baird
Ruth Parker and Vera Baird

An independent charitable organisation, which helps victims of crime across the Northumbria force area, has appointed a new CEO to continue to develop and strengthen victim services.

Victims First Northumbria, was launched in 2015 to provide practical and emotional support to help victims of crime to cope and recover from their experience. The organisation is committed to ensuring victims are central to the entire criminal justice process and that they have access to the best possible support and advice when they need it.

Ruth joins the team with more than 20 years of extensive and varied experience working in the court service where she has gained extensive knowledge of the civil, family and criminal justice system.

In 2000, she was promoted to Group Court Manager with operational responsibility for all courts within Northumbria, leading a team of more than 300 staff. In this role, she secured funding to create a dedicated victim and witness suite at Newcastle Combined Court and also led work on the implementation of the Forced Marriage Act.

In her new role as CEO of Victims First Northumbria, her main priority will be working with other criminal justice partners to ensure victims of crime have a voice and are emotionally and practically supported. She will also be responsible for growing the service and shaping it for the future.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, who set up Victims First and now sits on the board for the organisation, said: "It's great to be welcoming Ruth to the team. She brings with her a range of experience and an impressive track record. I am confident her skills, along with her determination, will lead Victims First into the next phase of its journey - ensuring that whoever the victim, and whatever the crime, they will always be given the best service possible."

Ruth said: "I am delighted to have been chosen for this opportunity to lead Victims First Northumbria as it further develops its already excellent work helping victims of crime. I look forward to making good use of my knowledge and experience to enhance the service and I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead."

For more information on Victims First Northumbria, visit www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk or contact the service's dedicated Freephone number - 0800 011 3116.