VIDEO: Voting turnout was “extremely worrying” for police election

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Labour’s Alan Charles has been elected as Derbyshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) amid concerns about low voter turnout.

He beat Conservative candidate Simon Spencer, UKIP’s David Gale and independent Rod Hutton in an election which saw turnout of just 14.75 per cent.

Police and crime commissioner elections Derbyshire. Alan Charles and family, Katy Burgon, Diane Charles and Sarah Neal.

Police and crime commissioner elections Derbyshire. Alan Charles and family, Katy Burgon, Diane Charles and Sarah Neal.

Mr Charles, who achieved a total of 57,248 votes after two rounds of counting, said he was “delighted” but admitted the poor turnout was “extremely worrying”.

In Amber Valley the total voter turnout was 16.9 per cent. The second highest in the county out of five voting regions.

He added: “I completely understand why people may say I don’t have a proper mandate.

“But we’ve been through a democratic process and I have won by a pretty significant margin.”

He blamed the low turnout on lack of Government information about the elections.

Mr Charles, who represents Killamarsh on the county council, will take over responsibility for overseeing Derbyshire police, appointing and dismissing the chief constable and setting the force’s budget.

He pledged to oppose police cuts and privatisation, tackle domestic violence and help keep Derbyshire communities safe as part of his £75,000-a-year role.

Runner-up Mr Spencer, who clinched a total of 36,469 votes, congratulated Mr Charles and said: “I’m disappointed not just for me but for my team.

“I only hope Alan takes politics out of policing and delivers safer streets and more crime prevention.”

He added that “important lessons must be learned” in light of the poor turnout.

Mr Gale, who received 18,097 votes, and Mr Hutton, who took 17,093 votes, both blasted the Government’s “abysmal” publicity of the elections.

The Government has launched a review after fewer than 15 per cent of voters turned out in the 41 English and Welsh areas electing a PCC - a peacetime low.

Jenny Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission, said the issue was a “big concern for everyone who cares about democracy”.

The PCC post replaces non-elected police authorities.

Turnout in Chesterfield was 15.32 per cent, with 14.62 per cent going to the polls in North East Derbyshire, 11.39 per cent in Bolsover and 19.1 per cent in Derbyshire Dales.