Police commissioners: The work now begins

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The newly-elected police and crime commissioners took office yesterday with big hopes to strengthen policing in the area they operate.

The new commissioners, who replace police authorities, will have the power to set policing priorities and budgets, as well as working alongside the Chief Constable of the force.

Independent candidate Alan Hardwick won the race to become the commissioner for Lincolnshire, which attracted a turnout of 15.63 per cent across the county and 16.14 per cent in South Kesteven.

Mr Hardwick achieved 39,221 votes in the elections on Thursday last week and had a majority of 4,135 over rival David Bowles, standing for the Campaign to Stop Politicians Running Policy, after a second preference count.

Conservative Richard Davies was third and Labour’s Paul Gleeson last - with the two candidates dropping out of the race after the first round.

Mr Hardwick, who lives near Gainsborough, presented Yorkshire news programme Calendar and was a media relations officer for Lincolnshire Police Authority.

He said he planned to formulate a policing and crime plan with senior officers and draw up a programme to engage with as many people around the county as possible.

Mr Hardwick said: “I plan to make this not an office based job but reaching into all corners of the county. There will be no north south divide or urban or rural divide in Lincolnshire. I can promise that I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure the safety and security of all the people in Lincolnshire.”

His priorities include putting pressure on the Government to reinstate the rural policing grant in the county.

He also plans to tackle anti-social behaviour and focus on rural crime.

Tory candidate Sir Clive Loader won the Leicestershire and Rutland election after securing 64,661 votes.

Sir Clive, who lives in Wing with his wife Alison, said he was “excited and delighted” to have been elected.

He said an “honest and heartfelt thank you” was due to everyone who voted for him.

He said: “When I went round talking to people at the NFU and on the streets of Oakham and Uppingham, it was clear there was an issue with rural crime and how urgently that is addressed.

“Over the first two months, I will be putting together a police and crime plan with all the messages and concerns I have had voiced to me.

“We will be looking at how we can tackle those within the budget we have available.”

Sir Clive attended an official handover at Leicestershire Police Authority ‘s final meeting on Tuesday.

Sir Clive, a retired Air Chief Marshal in the RAF, said rural crime was an issue he wanted to tackle.

In the election, Sir Clive beat Labour candidate Sarah Russell, who received 51,835 votes after second preference votes were counted.

Neither candidate managed to secure 50 per cent of votes in the first round of voting in which independent candidate Suleman Nagdi was eliminated.

The overall turnout was 16 per cent, with the Rutland turnout being 19.68 per cent – the highest turnout of the nine areas in the Leicestershire force area.

Adam Simmonds said he was “humbled” to be elected the new commissioner for Northamptonshire.

Adam Simmonds says he was “humbled” to be elected the commissioner but “baffled” as to why so many votes were cast for Labour’s Lee Barron, who was not eligible to stand.

Mr Simmonds took 40,923 votes, including second preferences, ahead of Mr Barron’s 30,551.

Mr Simmonds said: “It is an amazing opportunity and now I have got to make good on the promises I made during my campaign.”

The turnout in Northamptonshire was 19.82 per cent.

Former Conservative MP Sir Graham Bright won the role for Cambridgeshire and was elected with 31,640 votes.

His nearest rival was Labour candidate Ed Murphy, who picked up 25,114 votes 
after second preference votes were counted.

Sir Graham said: “I have to draw up priorities for the police force but I will not be looking to reinvent the wheel and I don’t want to take police out of the frontline.

The turnout in Cambridgeshire was 15.25 per cent.