Labour's Bob Jones named Police and Crime Commissioner

By Matthew Bates Monday 19 November 2012 Updated: 19/11 17:09

LABOUR'S Bob Jones has been named Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Coventry and the West Midlands.

The former Wolverhampton councillor easily won the race after securing 117,388 votes compared to the 55,685 polled by second-placed Matt Bennett of the Conservatives.

They had been selected through to the second round of voting, where second preference votes cast for those who did not make it through were counted.

Turnout in the region was the lowest nationwide at just 12 per cent, while in the city it was even lower at 10.5 per cent.

Mr Jones, due to start the role on Thursday (November 22), will earn a salary of £100,000 a year.

In Coventry, he was given 11,100, way ahead of Mr Bennett on 3,997 and independent candidate Cath Hannon, who was third in the city - with 3,613 votes - and in the region overall.

UKIP's Bill Etheridge was fourth on 1,701 votes, 300 ahead of Mike Rumble and 400 ahead of Derek Webley, both independents.

There were 884 rejected ballot papers in Coventry, which included spoilt ballots by angry voters. That figure was 101 more than the votes Liberal Democrat candidate Ayoub Khan received.

Chief Constable Chris Sims welcomed Mr Jones to the position and said he was looking forward to working with him.

"We are entering a new era for policing governance and I am confident that we will be able to build on recent successes," he said.

"I will be meeting with Commissioner Jones in his capacity as PCC over the coming days to discuss how we can start to shape our plans for working together."

*THE ELECTORAL Commission has announced it is investigating the low turnout at PCC elections across the country.

Chair of the organisation, Jenny Watson, described it as a concern for anyone who cared about Democracy.

“These were new elections taking place at an unfamiliar time of year, which is why we have made clear at every stage that it would be important to engage effectively with voters," she said.

“The Government took a number of decisions about how to run these elections that we did not agree with. But what is important now is that the right lessons are learnt: we will talk to voters, candidates and Returning Officers to understand what worked and what didn’t."

However, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted those elected did have a mandate and that turnout was always going to be lower than usual.

Results of the review are expected to be presented to Parliament in early 2013.

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