Election day for first police commissioner

TODAY (Thursday) is decision day for voters across the county as they elect the first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Derbyshire.

Four candidates are contesting the £75,000 role: Alan Charles (Labour), David Gale (UKIP), Rod Hutton (Independent) and Simon Spencer (Conservative).

The PCC will replace the Derbyshire Police Authority, who met for the final time last week.

Authority chair, Philip Hickson, said: “Our members and officers have worked tirelessly with the police, our partners and the public to help create a safer Derbyshire. The success of their commitment is reflected in the crime figures of the last nine years.

“We are now heading for nearly a decade of reducing crime, with 41,000 fewer victims since 2002/3. That is a fantastic legacy, and one to be proud of.”

The authority relinquishes its governing role on November 22, the day the new PCC takes up office.

Derbyshire’s Chief Constable Mick Creedon praised the work of the authority and said he had found its members to be committed to public service and improving policing.

Months of work have gone into preparing the handover to the Commissioner. “We have done everything we can to ensure that the Commissioner has what he needs to carry on improving safety in Derbyshire,” said Mr Hickson.

A total of 709 polling stations across the county will be open until 10pm for residents to cast their vote.