Police commissioner elected for Devon and Cornwall

Conservative Tony Hogg pips local Independent candidate Brian Greenslade in Devon and Cornwall police poll.

DEVON and Cornwall has its first ever police and crime commissioner after Conservative candidate Tony Hogg was elected to the post this morning (Saturday).

The two counties went to the polls on Thursday and the 10 candidates for the �85,000 a year position have been waiting anxiously since 11am yesterday as more than 300 counters and postal vote assistants began counting the ballot papers at the Carn Brea Leisure Centre in Redruth, Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall was the last region in the country to declare its new commissioner, the result called shortly after midnight.

Mr Hogg was elected with 35.24 per cent of the final vote after second preferences were added. He polled 69,419 votes ahead of North Devon’s Brian Greenslade with 37,243 votes.

Immediately after the result, Mr Hogg tweeted: “Thanks to other candidates, my team, counting staff, my family and everyone who voted.

“I will work on behalf of the people of Devon and Cornwall, regardless of politics. New role, with new challenges. I look forward to it.”

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Speaking to the Gazette in September, the retired sailor – who served in the Falklands War and spent more than 30 years in the Royal Navy – described the creation of the commissioner role as ‘the biggest change in policing for a generation’.

The former Royal Navy commodore and commander of RNAS Culdrose said: “The police have to answer too much to Whitehall at the moment, so the idea is to give the power back to local people.”

He said his priorities were to cut time by bringing policing closer to the public, working with businesses and local people to ensure they could play their part.

He said he would like to lift police morale, increase visible policing and encourage early intervention to prevent young people falling into a life of crime. He also said he would like to see more police cadet schemes set up in every town.

Mr Greenslade stood for election as an independent, despite being the current Liberal Democrat leader of North Devon Council.

He said before the election he deliberately rejected a party political platform at he did not believe party politics should come into policing.

The new commissioner will have the power to set out the force’s budget and also decide the local policing priorities area, as well as the ability to ‘hire and fire’ the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police.

The election saw a low turnout of 15.1 per cent after voting took place at more than 1,300 polling stations across 12 local authority areas in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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