Jeff Cuthbert is the new PCC for Gwent
After the poll went to a second round of votes, Mr Cuthbert secured a total of 96,030 votes overall, over 36,000 more than his closest rival. In only the second ever PCC election, voter turnout in Gwent increased to 42% compared to 12.97% overall in the first PCC elections in 2012. Louise Brown who was running as a candidate for the Welsh Conservatives came second with 59,931 votes and Plaid Cymru's Darren Jones was in third place with 37,916 votes.
Former Welsh Government Minister, Jeff Cuthbert, is standing down as the Assembly Member for Caerphilly, a position he has held since 2003. His term of office as Commissioner will last four years and he will be responsible for representing the people of Gwent and making sure the service provided by the police is efficient and effective.
His priorities for policing in Gwent will include:
Providing more of a visible police presence on our streets and in our communities;
Ensuring that crimes such as domestic abuse, hate crime, child exploitation, and modern slavery are given the attention that they deserve;
Developing and maintaining good community cohesion;
Working with the Voluntary Sector to inform on-going policies and practices;
Working with the Chief Constable so that the principles of social justice become the cornerstone of police practice;
And working with the Welsh Government and the devolved public services on practical issues of support such as the provision of the additional Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) for Gwent.
Addressing supporters and opponents at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport, where the official count was held, Mr Cuthbert said: "I would like to thank the other candidates for the contest which was conducted in a spirit of friendship and a concentration on the broader issues around policing. I would also like to thank the incumbent Ian Johnston for the firm foundations he has laid for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner in Gwent. I intend to be an inclusive Commissioner and I want to work effectively with all sections of the community. I look forward to working closely with the Chief Constable, Jeff Farrar, so that the principles of social justice which I stand on become the cornerstone of policing in Gwent.
What I hope to achieve over the next four years is to reverse the position which was found by an opinion poll only a few months ago whereby only one person in ten in the whole of Wales knew that PCCs even existed. That is something in a democracy we cannot have. I am determined to reverse that position over the next four years and ensure that people understand the real value of this post."
Outgoing PCC Ian Johnston, who served as an independent candidate before deciding not to stand for re-election, congratulated his successor: "It has been a huge privilege and an honour to serve the people of Gwent as Commissioner," said Mr Johnston.
"The decision not to stand for a second term was a difficult one for me to make but I am confident that I am leaving behind a Force which is in very good shape in the capable hands of Chief Constable Farrar. This is reflected in how the Force has been continually praised by inspectors for the improvements it has made over the last two years. I would like to wish Jeff Cuthbert all the best for the next four years."
For further information about the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner, please visit www.gwent.pcc.police.uk