The newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria says the Government is to blame for the low turnout at the polls.
Turnout in the Northumbria force area was 16.8 per cent - the highest in the North East.
The Government has said it will take time for people to learn about the new role and turnout would be higher next time round. Vera Baird, who stood as the Labour candidate, says too little information was provided about the new role.
A Labour candidate has also been chosen to take on the role in Durham. Ron Hogg was a police officer for more than 30 years - he has echoed Vera Baird's frustrations that there had been a lack of information over these elections.