Labour win Avon and Somerset PCC for first time

Credit: Jonh Wimperis

The Labour Party have won the police and crime commissioner election for Avon and Somerset, taking the post from the Conservatives.

Clare Moody, the region's Labour candidate, beat her Conservative predecessor Mark Shelford by more than 4,000 votes.

The win means she has become the first Labour candidate to be elected into the role since it was created.

Speaking to ITV News West Country, she said: "I know I am the first Labour candidate to be elected for this area and that's a privilege, and I also recognise that it's a responsibility."

Ms Moody, who was an MEP for South West England between 2014 and 2019, said tackling knife crime will be one of her biggest priorities in her new role but will "take time."

"It is a huge issue and it has an impact beyond the consequences of the terrible actions we've seen," she said. "It's a complex problem and requires a complex response."

She added: "A lot of it is about prevention work. It's about working with young people in schools and reinforcing youth services, as well as providing alternative routes so we avoid the situation in the first place."

  • Ms Moody said tackling knife crime will be one of her biggest priorities

Ms Moody said she also hopes to make policing more visible within communities.

"By building neighbourhood policing, you're building trust in the police," she said.

"Those connections will help to prevent problems and will be about creating a positive policing agenda - that the police are the community and the community are the police," added Ms Moody.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew said she was "really looking forward" to working with Ms Moody. Credit: John Wimperis

Clare Moody polled 95,982 votes, followed by Mark Shelford who received 91,006 votes. Turnout was 23.09%, compared to 30.7% in 2021.

The turnout was 23.09%, compared to 30.7% at the last PCC election in 2021.

The force’s region covers Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset, and Bath and North East Somerset.

Police and Crime Commissioners were first introduced in 2012 as part of a wider package of police reforms.

Last elected in 2021, police and crime commissioners oversee policing within their police force area, aiming to "cut crime" and "deliver an effective and efficient service."

They are chosen by the public to hold the Chief Constable to account and to ensure the force is answerable to the communities they serve.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew — who attended the election count — said: “Democracy has made its mark tonight. I’m really looking forward to working with the new police and crime commissioner designate to help her build her police and crime plan to help her build on her priorities that have led to her being successful tonight.

“But I am also really grateful for the work that the outgoing police and crime commissioner has done with me, with tackling the issues in Avon and Somerset,” she added.