LABOUR’s Shaun Wright has been elected as South Yorkshire’s first police and crime commissioner (PCC).
He secured more than 50 per cent of first preference votes in the election last Thursday.
The former local councillor, magistrate and school governor will now be responsible for overseeing the South Yorkshire Police budget and priorities after winning the poll with 74,615 votes.
Turnout was low, however, with just 14.93 per cent or 149,188 of the one million eligible voters heading to the polls.
Mr Wright said the result was a ‘fantastic day for South Yorkshire’ after he was officially declared commissioner - but hit out at the Government for failing to provide enough information about the election.
He said: “They didn’t publicise or fund them properly. Why would the public turn out and vote for a position that they didn’t know about?”
“The turnout is very disappointing, but I take my mandate from the majority I received, not the turnout.”
“The jury’s still out on whether these positions will exist come another election, but I hope the public will judge me on my performance over the next three years,” he added.
The English Democrats’ David Allen came second, polling 22,608 votes. Nigel Bonson, representing the Conservative Party, came third with 21,075 and UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott fourth with 16,773 votes. The Liberal Democrats’ Robert Teal came in last with 10,223 votes.
Mr Wright said that one of his first tasks would be to produce a plan of action alongside the Chief Constable and get to grips with how the force’s £251million budget should be spent.
He also promised to make it his mission to rebuild the public’s trust in the police following the damning Hillsborough report and the Rotherham scandal over child grooming.
“We need to be vigilant constantly that the maximum amount of resources is being used to tackle this abhorrent crime,” he said.
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton said he was glad to have reached the end of the election.
He added: “This has been a long time coming, and in the past few months it’s created a degree of uncertainty for the force. I look forward to working with Shaun Wright as the new commissioner, and re-establishing some certainty as to what the future holds.”