Posted: 29.04.21 at 15:49 by The Editor
Suffolk will take to the polls to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) on Thursday, May 6, a year later than planned.
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.
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
Four candidates are standing in the polls this year:
Tim Passmore (Conservative)
Elizabeth Hughes (Labour)
James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats)
Andy Patmore (Green)
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.
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.
Mr Passmore has held the role in Suffolk for the Conservatives since its inception in 2012, and is seeking re-election once again.
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).