Expect 'honesty and integrity' says new police and crime commissioner
Ben Hatton Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: LDRS
Conservative Darryl Preston has been elected as the new police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The win, declared on Saturday (May 8), is a Conservative hold but with a new candidate, as the former police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, resigned from the role during his term.
Mr Preston won in the second round of voting, with first and second preference votes totalling 114,153 (52.76 per cent).
Labour’s Nicky Massey came second, with first and second preference votes totalling 102,195 (47.24 per cent).
Mr Preston: “I’m feeling really excited.
“I’m grateful to the residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for them to put their faith in me, but now we’ve got work to do.
“We need to get these extra police officers, we need to get them out there visible in our neighbourhoods, cutting and fighting crime and keeping all of our communities safe”.
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The previous holder of the office, Conservative Jason Ablewhite, resigned in late 2019 following a complaint made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct over allegations which related to messages allegedly sent to an adult member of the public over Facebook.
Following an investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service announced no further action would be taken, and Mr Ablewhite was not prosecuted, and at no point was he arrested or charged with an offence.
Mr Preston, when asked if his victory will start a new chapter for the office following the controversy, said: “Well, I am me.
“I based my campaign on honesty and integrity.
“I was a police officer for 30 years, when I start my job I’ll hit that ground running, my job is all about protecting the communities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough”.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Preston said: “To serve as a Police and Crime Commissioner is a privilege, and it’s a privilege that carries great responsibility, and it’s an honour that I do not take lightly.
“I understand that responsibility and that is to represent the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, all the residents of our great county, giving them the voice and keeping all of our community safe.”
He said: “In a few days, I’ll be taking an oath of office, and that is enshrined in law, and I will swear that I will act with integrity and diligence in my role and to the best of my ability.
“I will execute the duties of my office to ensure that the police are able to, and here’s the thing, cut crime and protect people.
“Cutting crime, protecting the public and supporting victims, those are my priorities, and they’re my priorities because they are the priorities of the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough”.
Mr Preston secured 42.9 per cent in the first round, Ms Massey, 31.3 per cent, Lib Dem Rupert Moss-Eccardt 22.3 per cent, and Reform UK’s Susan Morris 3.48 per cent.
The Lib Dem and Reform UK candidates were then eliminated and the second preference votes of voters who chose the eliminated candidates as their first preference were added to the totals of the other two if applicable.
The vote followed an electoral upset in the mayoral vote, as Labour’s Nik Johnson took his party from third in 2017 to first, ousting Conservative James Palmer.
In her speech from the podium, runner-up Nicky Massey said: “What an amazing set of elections we’ve had.
“I’m really honoured to still be standing here.
“That 102,000 votes – thank you to every single one of you that voted for me, and I’m not going anywhere and I won’t go quietly, you will hear me roar.
She said: “I will be standing up for [against] domestic abuse and I will be standing up for [against] sexual harassment of women.
“I will be your voice; together we are going to make a change. “We’re just going to do it in a slightly different way, so please for those of you who voted for me, join me on my next journey, where we will make a difference.”
She added: “And we are definitely going to smash domestic abuse out the ballpark”.