Labour wins police commissioner election

LABOUR’S Clare Moody has been elected as Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, narrowly defeating Conservative Mark Shelford.

Just over 300,000 people across the region voted on May 2 in the election to choose the person who will set the direction of policing and hold the chief constable to account for the next four years.

Ms Moody received 95,982 votes, 4,976 ahead of incumbent Mr Shelford, who had 91,006.

The Greens’ Katy Grant was third and Liberal Democrat Benet Allen was fourth. For the first time since the post was created in 2012, no independent candidate stood in the election.

Turnout was just over 23% — down from over 30% in 2021, when the election was held on the same day as the West of England Metro Mayor vote.

This time the only place an all-out vote was happening at the same time was Bristol, where city council elections were held.

The higher turnout in the city was decisive: Mr Shelford topped the poll in all areas apart from Bristol, where Ms Moody picked up almost half of her votes. The Bristol votes were also enough to take Ms Grant past Mr Allen into third place overall.

In South Gloucestershire, Mr Shelford received 17,528 votes to Ms Moody’s 15,192, with Ms Grant in third on 6,283 and Mr Allen fourth on 5,678.

The only other election in South Gloucestershire was a by-election in the New Cheltenham ward. Labour’s Angela Morey retained the seat vacated when Sandie Davis resigned for health reasons in March, with a majority of 248 over Conservative Kelly Cole.

Speaking at the declaration, Ms Moody said: “The priorities that I have are those that I campaigned on, which is about neighbourhood policing, it is around reducing violent crime, and that is particularly knife crime and violence against women and children. And it is also building that crime prevention that saves people from having to suffer from crime in the first place.”

Chief Constable Sarah Crew, who attended the election count, said she was “really looking forward” to working with Ms Moody but was also “really grateful” to Mr Shelford for his work with her.

Mr Shelford did not speak at the count but later sent a message thanking supporters, and wishing Ms Moody “every success”.

He said: “I’m proud of my achievements in the last three years and have worked with some amazing partners across Avon and Somerset Police and beyond.”

South Gloucestershire Council says it was investigating four complaints from electors that postal votes had not arrived in time.

Overall result:

Clare Moody (Labour) – 95,982

Mark Shelford (Conservative) – 91,006

Katy Grant (Green) – 64,623

Benet Allen (Liberal Democrat) – 45,864