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Independent candidate Ian Johnston elected as Gwent police and crime commissioner

Published in News on Friday November 16th, 2012. Last updated at 15:20

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Ian Johnston

Independent candidate Ian Johnston has been elected as the police and crime commissioner for the Gwent force area.

Mr Johnston, a former police officer, will take over the police authority’s role and will be able to set the police force budget and appoint the chief constable.

He beat Labour’s Hamish Sandison in the second round of counting.

The two other candidates were Independent Christopher Wright and the Conservative Nick Webb

Turnout across Gwent was 14.3%.

Mr Johnston, speaking to BBC Wales, said: “Number one I think, despite what other views people may have, the keeping politics out of policing message did have a part in the way people voted.

“I think the fact I’m from the county and well known in the county held sway and I think my police career, despite what some people are saying about having a police officer back.

“I know policing and as a result of that, I will be able to ask the force hard questions and hold them to account and test them on the service they’re providing to the people in Gwent.”

Lindsay Whittle, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East, who had declared his support for Independent candidate Mr Johnston, said: “I’d like to congratulate Ian on his success.

“I was against the establishment of the Police & Crime Commissioners but once the role was set up I felt it was not one for politicians.

“Ian, as a former Chief Superintendent in Gwent, knows the area well and also has that vital policing background knowledge. He has the necessary experience to make a success of the role.

“Ian will make some significant decisions affecting policing in our community and I wish him well. I look forward to working with Ian in the future as policing in Gwent enters a new dawn.”

Caerphilly MP Wayne David has taken to Twitter to criticise the actual election itself after low turnout and has suggested that no-one in Tir y Berth voted.

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  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    I wish Commissioner Johnston well in his new role but do wish he would stop talking about serving the people of Gwent. I have never lived in Gwent; like all Caerffili people I live the other side of the Rhymney river. We live in Caerffili County Borough which, for some reason, is also policed by the Gwent force.

  • john owen

    I dont object to being under the Gwent Police, the term Gwent has a nice tone to it, to quote Lord Raglan in the 30s, the name conjures up small villages and hamlets, with dogs sleeping in the afternoon sun by the blacksmiths shop. But I think with the turn out he has no mandate, I considered spoiling my ballot paper, but it would have increased the turnout,and given them more legitimacy, so I boycotted the omishambles of the PCC elections, if we fought for the right to vote, we also have the right not to vote. I suppose he`s slightly better than the thought of a failed Labour Political suit out for the money, that would really be political policing. In the end one man, unless he`s a Gwent version of Batman, cannot replace the old Police Authority. The old system was working so why change it, but the Conservatives have ruined everything else so why should law and order be different, that the trouble of electing posh boys who dont know the price of a pint of milk. But since he`s there can he investigate the lack of good policing, in Caerphilly which leads to parking problems in Ludlow St, and introduce a 20mph speed limit on Clive Street Caerphilly, because we had a crash on the junction with Ludlow Street friday night, it demolished a wall but in the day it could have killed someone.

  • Trefor Bond

    Now that the people of Gwent have elected its Police and Crime Commissioner it will be his responsibilty to engage fully with the people who elcected him.

    It was noticeble that the Commissioners first ` photo call` was with the Chief Constable and both looked very happy to greet each other ` warmly. nothing wrong with that as long as the Commissioner fully embraces his role as a representative of the citizens of Gwent, and not as a re-joining Senior Police Officer.

    We will hear in the coming weeks and months how our Crime and Police Commissioner intend to ensure that the voice of every citizen of Gwent his heard and considered by him, to do this he will have to establish new systems of engaging with the public who elected him, he cannot, nor would I have thought he would want too think, that any current public engagement processes which the Gwent Police have established, ( During his time as senoir Police Officer) would work, they dont serve very well for the Gwent Police and it is certainly the case that those systems and processes will not attieve the aims which the role of Commissioner is said to establish of engaging with a concered public when it come to policing issues in the towns and communities of Gwent.

    Ian Johnston, during his election campaign, said that the systems which the police currently use to engage with the public i.e. PACT meetings amongst them, are not as they were designed and do not serve the purpose, he also expressed clear concerns that the traditional role of Police Constables patrolling the streets had been reduced to CSO doing that traditional role, and that he wanted to address both these issues, he said that he was unhappy with the lack of ranking Police Officers who attend on the Public at PACT meetings and this was again something he intended to see addressed and remediated. If just these issues are addressed by the commissioner and the Chief Constable in his first year in office he will have redeemed much of the importance of the role of Commissioner which it is being said the low turnout at the election itself brought into disrepute.