Published: November 16, 2012
Sue Mountstevens wins Somerset police commissioner election

Independent candidate Sue Mountstevens has won the election to become Avon and Somerset's first police and crime commissioner.

Residents across the Burnham-On-Sea area voted in the election on Thursday and the winner was announced on Friday evening.

Turnout in the Sedgemoor district, which includes Burnham, was poor at just 14.3%.

In her new role, Sue Mountstevens will take over from the police authority and be responsible for controlling the budget and setting police priorities.

She will also have the power to 'hire and fire' chief constables but will not be involved in the operational side of policing.

A delighted Ms Mountstevens said: "Only I have the experience, the commitment and the freedom to deliver the right policing for the residents of Avon and Somerset."

"As your Independent Commissioner I will protect residents and police from political interference. I will reduce crime so you can be safe and feel safe in your community. I will be your voice. I will work with the police for better policing. I will make police officers and PCSO’s more visible in your neighbourhoods."

"I will be a fierce advocate on behalf of victims and I will ensure that offenders are dealt with robustly through the criminal justice system and I never forget that it is your money. I will ensure that every pound is spent efficiently, effectively and wisely."

In the second round of voting , Ms Mountstevens secured 125,704 votes, while Mr Maddock came in second place with 67,842 votes. Labour's John Savage and Liberal Democrat Pete Levy were eliminated from the election in the first stage.

In the first stage of voting, Sue Mountstevens won 35.81% of the vote, while 24.35% voted for Conservative Ken Maddock. Liberal Democrat Pete Levy was third, winning 43,446 votes (18.53%) and Labour's John Savage came in fourth with 49,989 votes (21.32%).

The chairwoman of the national Electoral Commission said poor turnouts across the country are "a concern for everyone who cares about democracy".

Labour's Chuka Umunna called the elections "a total shambles" and said the £100m cost across the UK could have paid for 3,000 police officers.

But Prime Minister David Cameron said numbers were always going to be low when holding an election for the first time. "It takes time to explain a new post," he said and he predicted voting numbers would be "much higher next time round".


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