Election 2021: All you need to know about Police and Crime Commissioner polls


Suffolk's police and crime commissioner helps set the strategy and priority for policing - 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.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Conservative PCC candidate for 2021, Tim Passmore - Credit: Archant

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:

  • 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
Elizabeth Hughes is Labour's candidate for Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner. Picture: LABOUR PARTY

Elizabeth Hughes is standing for the 2021 PCC election in Suffolk for Labour - Credit: Labour Party

Who is standing this year?

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Four candidates are standing in the polls this year:

Tim Passmore (Conservative)

Elizabeth Hughes (Labour)

James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats)

Andy Patmore (Green)

Liberal Democrat candidate James Sandbach

James Sandbach from the Liberal Democrats is standing for the PCC role in Suffolk for 2021 - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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.

Andy Patmore, Green candidate for the 2021 police and crim commissioner elections in Suffolk

Suffolk PCC Green candidate Andy Patmore - Credit: Andy Patmore

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.

Two Babergh Tories are standing as Independents in the 2019 local elections. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk voters are urged to check their polling card for 2021 as Covid may have meant polling stations are different this year - Credit: Gregg Brown

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.