INDEPENDENT Ron Ball is Warwickshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), after 66,085 (15.65 per cent) of Warwickshire’s electorate turned out to vote yesterday.
Mr Ball said that prior to the election he only expected to get around 20 per cent of the vote, however he ended up beating both his rivals with a total of 21,410 – compared to Labour’s James Plaskitt’s 22,308 and Conservative Fraser Pithie’s total of 20,571. Because all candidates failed to get 50 per cent or more of the vote, Mr Ball was elected on Fraser Pithie voters’ second preference vote.
It means that next Thursday (November 22) he will replace Warwickshire Police Authority as the public’s voice on how Warwickshire Police approach their work. Speaking after he was confirmed as the county’s new PCC, Mr Ball, a former British Airways 747 pilot and magistrate, said he was delighted with the result.
“It was very hard to see how this election was going to go and I’m very grateful to be elected,” he said.
“I’m disappointed with the turn out, but my message to the people of Warwickshire is that I won’t let that affect how I go about my job as the county’s new PCC. The police need the public’s input when it comes to tackling crime and my job will be to act as a conduit between the two.”
He, added: “Among my first priorities will be to ensure a smooth transition between the Police Authority and myself. I intend to draw on the experience of former Police Authority members in the coming year to ensure that their knowledge and expertise is retained. One of my first priorities in the role will be to look at Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Warwickshire and make sure their approach is more consistent.”
In his manifesto, Mr Ball has said he would take a common sense approach to the role if elected. Describing his views online, he said: “Because nearly all crime is driven by drugs, alcohol, troubled families or greed, I am convinced of the value of early intervention and structured support in dealing with many of these problems. It is clearly better to deter crime in the first place. That reduces the financial cost, but much more importantly it reduces the human cost too.”
Andy Parker, Cheif Constable of Warwickshire, said: “I would like to congratulate Ron Ball on his appointment as police and crime commissioner and I look forward to working with him and our partners to reduce harm in Warwickshire.
“This is a new role, and one which will face many challenges, but I am confident that we can continue to reduce crime and make our communities safer.”
He added: “I would also like to place on record my thanks to Warwickshire Police Authority who have made an enormous contribution to policing in Warwickshire and seen the force reduce crime significantly over the last decade. In the first six months of this year the force recorded its lowest levels of crime for many years with a 11 per cent reduction on the previous year.
“I am confident that with the new governance arrangements in place we can build on the firm foundations which have been laid.”
To fine out more about Mr Ball’s manifesto, see ronball4pcc.co.uk.