Election 2021: All you need to know about Police and Crime Commissioner polls
- Credit: Archant
A year later than planned, Suffolk will take to the polls to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) on Thursday, May 6.
The election comes at a fascinating time as policing proved to be a high profile part of the Covid-19 pandemic with officers tasked with enforcing the various changing restrictions.
Those included issuing fines and breaking up large gatherings, on top of the existing duties.
What is a PCC responsible for?
The PCC role was created in 2012 with the aim of making policing decisions, finances and strategy more open and transparent. The PCC's responsibilities include:
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- Setting the policing precept element of the council tax bill each year
- Attending the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders and Local Outbreak Engagement Board meetings in Suffolk
- Producing an annual Police and Crime Plan which determines resources and key areas of focus for the county's constabulary
- Lobbying the government on behalf of the police authority or on policing policy
- Appoint and hold to account the Chief Constable - including at regular accountability panel meetings
- Respond to concerns and questions by elected councillors at the Police and Crime Panel meetings
- Commissioning support services for victims
- Allocating some funding to voluntary and community organisations which support victims of crime
Who is standing this year?
- 1 'It's been so tough without Jason': Witches ace on Crump loss
- 2 Tourist trails and barbecues to welcome back neighbours to Suffolk towns
- 3 Bridal shop opens in well-known former Sudbury bookshop
- 4 Revealed: Where petrol prices are cheapest in Suffolk
- 5 Swimmers report sickness symptoms after dip in Suffolk river
- 6 More fatal crashes on Suffolk roads this year already than whole of 2020
- 7 Drivers hit in pocket as petrol prices reach eight-year high
- 8 Man left with cuts to his head after being bottled following fight in Suffolk town
- 9 Sunny spells expected but thunderstorms are on the way
- 10 Sudbury restaurant manager who stole £1,200 is ordered to pay back money
Four candidates are standing in the polls this year:
Tim Passmore (Conservative)
Elizabeth Hughes (Labour)
James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats)
Andy Patmore (Green)
Will Covid change my polling station?
Many voters have registered for postal votes this year, but those voting in person have been advised they will be required to wear a face mask and may have to queue in a socially distanced manner.
Voters are advised to bring their own pencil this time around, and should check the polling station on their polling card as some may have changed as a result of the pandemic.
How does the PCC election differ?
While most local elections require a cross in a box for one candidate, unless otherwise stated, the PCC elections work slightly differently.
Voters are presented with two columns on their voting slip - one for a first choice and one for a second choice. These should be different.
If a candidate doesn't secure an overall majority from the first choice votes, the second choices are then taken into consideration.
Results will be declared on Saturday, May 8 in Suffolk.
Which party holds the role?
Mr Passmore has held the role in Suffolk for the Conservatives since its inception in 2012, and is seeking re-election once again.
As a prominent councillor at Mid Suffolk District Council (and former leader) he is a well-known figure, while Labour's Liz Hughes is known as an Ipswich Borough councillor and has previously stood in general elections.
Mr Sandbach is another regular contender at general elections for the Lib Dems, while Mr Patmore is known in the community through his work for Suffolk Young People's Health Project (4YP).
Each of the candidates have outlined their priorities for the role if they are elected, available to view online here.