Plymouth voters didn't want police commissioner – candidate
A PLYMOUTH Labour councillor who ran for the £85,000-a-year job as police commissioner has told The Herald people "just didn't want the position".
Despite entering the race and coming a strong third, Nicky Williams said Labour had "voted against" having the commissioner post introduced.
She said: "What the whole thing did tell us is that people just didn't want the position – they didn't want to come out and vote and they believed it was a waste of resources.
"We (Labour) argued that and we voted against having this post introduced.
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"Eighty-five per cent of the population agreed with us and stayed firmly at home."
Cllr Williams has vowed to keep a close watch on newly elected commissioner Tony Hogg, in her role on the Police Panel, which will monitor the work of the new boss.
Conservative Tony Hogg sailed to victory in last Thursday's elections, which were shunned by the vast majority of people across the country.
Cllr Williams said she was delighted to have come third.
"I'm really glad I went for it," she said. "It means I'm incredibly knowledgeable about the subject for when I'm in my role in the police."
Just 15.15 per cent of voters across Devon and Cornwall bothered to vote for the region's first American-style Police and Crime Commissioner, who will oversee the force's work from this Thursday.
Plymouth voters were the least enthusiastic in region, with just 23,619 people, or 13.03 per cent, casting their ballot.
Mr Hogg, a retired Royal Navy veteran, has pledged to lobby the Government to keep funding cuts to a minimum.
Devon and Cornwall Police already faces deep cuts which have led to redundancies and fears over its finances.
Mr Hogg will be responsible for the force's budget and the amount of cash that goes to departments such as victim support.
Replacing the former Police Authority which governed the force, he even has the power to, if he wishes, scrap roles such as PCSOs altogether.
Mr Hogg received 69,419, nearly double that of second-placed Brian Greenslade, who stood as an Independent.
Cllr Williams came within around 600 votes of Mr Greenslade's 37,243, with a first-count total of 24,196 and a strong second-preference showing.
The only other Plymouth-based candidate for the role was publican Tam Macpherson, owner of the Clipper in Union Street. He finished in last place, with 4,306.
Mr Hogg said his job would be to boost police morale and public respect.
He said: "The headline challenge in Devon and Cornwall is funding. But underlying that is a challenge about how police feel about themselves. Morale is low. If we are to have an effect, first we need to boost morale.
"It's very important to address morale and respect for the police and I see these as significant enablers for everything else."