Published: 09:08, 10 May 2021
| Updated: 20:21, 10 May 2021
Matthew Scott has been re-elected as Kent and Medway’s police and crime commissioner.
He received 56% of the vote, avoiding the need for second preferences to be counted – the election using a separate voting system to what is usually seen in Kent and requiring people to pick a first and second choice candidate.
The result rounds off a series of elections in Kent held on what was dubbed ‘Super Thursday', covering the county council, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells councils and some parishes.
Three candidates were in the running for the crime commissioner: Matthew Scott (Conservative) who currently holds the position; Graham Colley ( Liberal Democrat) and Lola Oyewusi (Labour).
Mr Scott, who has held the post since beating Ann Barnes in 2016, is responsible for the strategic oversight of the force, including setting the budget and for producing a yearly plan.
He said: “It is important that I repay people’s faith in me. They can expect to see more police on the streets in our rural and urban areas; we will be putting more officers into schools to work with parents, teachers and children to make them safe more working with schools and we will bear down on criminal gangs lighting our communities.”
Asked what factors had helped his campaign, he said that in part it had helped being the incumbent but added: “I think I set out an agenda for the next three years that was in line with what residents expect. They want to see more police officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and taking drugs off our streets.”
He also promised tough action against gangs. On turnout, he said he was pleased to have seen an increase to over 31% but he was not complacent and would work hard to improve people’s understanding of the role.
The count took place at Dartford.
His election means 19 of the 27 PCCs elected nationally are Tory.
Ms Oyewusi, said: "It has been a privilege to be the Labour & Co-operative candidate and to be the first black female to stand to be a Police and Crime Commissioner.
"I want to thank my campaign team and every single voter across Kent who placed their trust in me. This is the best placing for a Labour Candidate for this role in Kent and I’m pleased to have doubled the Labour vote to over 100,000.
"I congratulate Matthew Scott on winning this election and wish him well in his term of office.
"I will continue to work towards my key pledges through my trade union, charity and community work."
Mr Scott received 237,278, Ms Oyewusi polled 103,807 and Mr Colley received 69,464.
There were 420,422 votes cast, with 9,873 spoilt papers.
Turnout was 31.8%
The various elections have produced mixed results for the parties, although it is the Conservatives who have had most to celebrate, having won the KCC battle comfortably and winning control of Maidstone council.
However, it lost control of Tunbridge Wells council which has moved to no overall control for the first time in decades.
Analysis from Paul Francis
The government’s policy on crime commissioners has been partly based on enhancing the accountability of police forces.
But eight years on, the idea of having a commissioner with no direct operational responsibilities is one that continues to perplex voters.
What is the point is the question many ask -often followed by why they get paid so much.
Explaining that commissioners have a strategic role over their force is challenging. The fact that it is commissioners who ultimately decide how much the police budget is each year usually gets some traction but beyond that, explaining what their role is tends to lead to eyes glazing over.
Yet the policy of commissioners is here to stay and the government can take some small consolation in seeing an improved turnout among voters.
But the fact that there were more than 9,000 spoilt papers in the ballot ought to concern the government.
The momentum risks stalling if commissioners’ powers are not enhanced and made clear.