Poor turnout for new police role

The new Police Commisoner Clive Grunshaw with Chief Constable Steve Finnigan.
The new Police Commisoner Clive Grunshaw with Chief Constable Steve Finnigan.

Clive Grunshaw has been named as the new police and crime commissioner for Lancashire following elections across the county.

Apathy reigned at the elections, with turnout for the Lancaster and Morecambe district at 14.3 per cent, compared to a county average of 15.5 per cent, as voters stayed away from the polls in their droves.

New police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been elected for each of the 41 police areas in England (excluding London) and Wales.

The commissioner’s role replaces police authorities and will decide on strategic direction and budgets.

Candidates in our county were Afzal Anwar (Liberal Democrat), Tim Ashton (Conservative), Clive Grunshaw (Labour) and Rob Drobny (UK Independence Party).

The result was announced at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, following a county-wide election. Mr Grunshaw officially takes up the role of PCC for Lancashire on November 22, replacing the current Police Authority.

The PCC will hold the Chief Constable to account and be the voice of the county when it comes to issues of crime and policing.

Speaking after his election to the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, said: “Clearly I am delighted with this result.

“This is a new era for policing in Lancashire. This is a real opportunity to focus on what matters to people in this county.

“My number one priority is the safety and security of the people of Lancashire. I will focus on making this role a successful one; ensuring the public gets the best possible service from Lancashire Constabulary and protecting the front line.”

Mr Grunshaw, who gained 79,790 votes in Friday’s election, announced the name of his new deputy Commissioner, Ibrahim Master from Blackburn, a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire and member of the former Police Authority, within minutes of being elected.

Mr Grunshaw narrowly lost out to Lancaster MP Eric Ollerensahw in the 2010 General Election.