The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections took place on 5th May, with all North East candidiates retaining their seats. The turn out figures slightly increased in Durham and Cleveland but interestingly increased by 15% in Northumbria. Perhaps the publics understanding of the role of the PCC is more widely known this time round.
The results were:
- Northumbria PCC, Vera Baird (Labour), received 180,479 votes with the nearest rival receiving 58,713 votes. The turnout increased 15% from the 2012 elections with 31.4% of the electorate.
- Durham PCC, Ron Hogg (Labour), received 50,915 votes with the nearest candidate receiving 18,797 votes. The turnout was 17.7%, an increase of 3% from the 2012 elections.
- Cleveland PCC, Barry Coppinger (Labour), reatined his position with 41,337 votes, ahead of the nearest candidate receiving 25,229. Those figures were a total of first and second preference votes as there was no overall winner with 50 per cent after the initial round. The total turnout was 79,829 - 19.73% of the electorate, which was up 5% from the 2012 election.
PCCs have a number of roles and responsibilities, relating to tackling crime and ensuring community safety. They fund a range of community safety activity carried out by the voluntary sector, and are important strategic figures for partnership working. We have also seen recent moves to give the PCCs responsibility for fire and rescue services, and in some areas to increase their roles through Devolution. Although there has been no communication that policing will be included in the two North East devolution deals, we will continue to play an active role through the work of VONNE and will update the sector should this change.
In the Autumn, PCCs will be developing their Police and Crime Plans which means that now is a good time to reflect on how you engage with PCCs at the moment and how you would like it to continue going forward. During consultations regarding the Police and Crime Plans there should be opportunities for you to raise issues around community safety, policing and crime which you would like to see included in the 5 year plans. Clinks have produced a useful guide 'Engaging with Police and Crime Commissioners', which may help you think through what forms of engagement are most suitable for your organisation and the voluntary sector as a whole.
If you have any good practice from working with the three North East PCCs or would like to share your experiences do email me - email@example.com