The race to become Derbyshire’s next Police and Crime Commissioner ended with a close finish and a Labour win of historic importance.
The Labour Party candidate Hardyal Dhindsa made history on Thursday, May 5, as he won the election and became the first Sikh to take a Police and Crime Commissioner position in England and Wales.
Mr Dhindsa received 78,858 votes including second preferences, ahead of runner-up Conservative Richard Bright’s on 77,245, UKIP’s Stuart Yeowart and Liberal Democrat Tom Snowdon.
Mr Dhindsa said: “This is a victory for everyone who wants Derbyshire to be as safe as it can be, with the needs of victims at the heart of all policies and the police supported in the work that they do on behalf of everyone.”
Turnout was 23.83 per cent across the county, and 32.71 per cent in Amber Valley. The ballot was decided on voters’ second preferences after Mr Dhindsa won the first round without a sufficient majority.
He now succeeds the county’s first commissioner, Labour’s Alan Charles, having previously been his deputy.
Mr Dhindsa added: “I have been privileged to meet people from every part of our county during the course of this campaign and the points that they have raised with me about policing and crime prevention have been invaluable.
“I will ensure that their voice is heard, that Derbyshire will say no to the privatisation of police services and I will make the strongest possible case to government for proper funding for this essential service.”
He also pledged to continue the work begun under Mr Charles to make Derbyshire a safe, tolerant and inclusive county where people are respected and diversity is welcomed, and reiterated his campaign promises on hate crime, domestic abuse and wildlife crime.
Mr Dhindsa said: “Whether it’s perpetrators of traditional crime, or new offences such as cyber crime, wrongdoers will be called to account for their actions and then rehabilitated to become responsible members of society.
“I am ambitious for Derbyshire and simply want it to be one of the very best crime- free areas in the country. If we all work together we can make that a reality.”