THE NEW Police and Crime Commissioner for the Humberside force officially took office last week.
Votes from the November 15 election were counted at Bridlington Spa last week and saw Conservative Matthew Grove, a former East Riding councillor, take the top job.
Last Thursday, after the abolition of the Humberside Police Authority, business was handed over to Mr Grove from the former authority’s chair Ros Taylor MBE.
Mr Grove said: “I would like to thank Ros Taylor and all the members of the Police Authority for leaving me with a healthy police service that is already improving and set for the challenges ahead.
“I accept that this is a difficult job, with many challenges but will be made much easier in the knowledge that I have a fantastic Police Authority Secretariat transferring over to my office.
“I believe policing should remain within the public sector, the voluntary sector should be encouraged to become involved to support and bolster rather than replace, and small scale and specialist private sector involvement should continue.
“Above all policing should be freed from unnecessary bureaucracy and police officers allowed to do what they do best, fight and deter crime.”
Mrs Taylor said: “On behalf of the Members and Officers of Humberside Police Authority I congratulate Matthew on his election and wish him well in this vital role.
“He is tasked with delivering the same objectives that we have striven to deliver over the last 16 years, with the added stimulus and authority of being directly elected by the many diverse communities throughout the Humber region.
“Further, he has an exciting opportunity to radically improve community safety through partnership-working and commissioning services.
“It will be a daunting task but we know that there is great satisfaction to be derived when one’s endeavours – in response to community needs, to reduce crime, support victims and increase perceptions of safer neighbourhoods – are successful.
“It is even more satisfying to do so whilst balancing budgets, investing in infrastructure, and ensuring staffing levels are appropriate. We all wish him well and trust he will enjoy his task as much as we have.”
Mr Grove beat six other candidates to land the £75,000 a year role, which will see him holding the Chief Constable of the force to account while focusing on local policing priorities, publishing a Police and Crime Plan, and setting the annual force budget alongside the Chief Constable.
Mr Grove won the election with a total of 42,164 votes, 29,440 first preference and 12,724 second preference, with Labour’s John Prescott narrowly in second place with a total of 39,933 votes – 33,282 first preference votes, and 6,651 second preference.
Former Bridlington Police chief Paul Davison won 28,807 votes, Godfrey Bloom of UKIP 21,484 and Lib Dem Simone Butterworth 11,655 – while independents Walter Sweeney won 5,118 and Neil Eyre won 3,976.