Labour's Ron Hogg elected Durham Police and Crime Commissioner

A NEWLY-elected police and crime commissioner said the poor turn-out in the election reflected the "anger on the doorstep" during the election campaign.

Labour’s Ron Hogg comfortably won the race to be named Durham’s police and crime commissioner, but on a turn-out of less than 15 per cent of the electorate.

Mr Hogg said: "There are reasons why the turnout was so low. It was a first time election, there was poor publicity around the process and the role and the fact that it was in November didn’t help.

"There has been a lot of anger on the doorstep from people saying they don’t know what the role is.

"There is now a real challenge for political parties to re-engage with communities".

During a 30-year police career leading up to his retirement in 2008, Mr Hogg served as assistant chief constable of Durham and deputy chief constable of Cleveland, making him the most senior former officer in the country to be elected to the new post of commissioner.

He won by a comfortable margin, taking 51.6 per cent of first preference votes ahead of nearest rival Kingsley Smith, the Independent former chief executive of Durham County Council, on 26.8 per cent.

UKIP’s Mike Costello finished third with 11.8 per cent of the vote ahead of Conservative Nick Varley on 9.8 per cent.

Speaking as the results were announced at the Louisa Centre, in Stanley this afternoon (November 16) Mr Hogg said among his first priorities would be to sort out the appointment of a permanent chief constable, with Mike Barton’s temporary contract due to expire in January, and cut the administration costs at the current police authority.

He said: "I want to reduce the £1.2m police authority budget and take a good hard look to see where we can make efficiencies to protect frontline police jobs.

"I am not saying they have been wasteful but we do need to look at where savings can be made."

In terms of policing priorities, Mr Hogg said while he had campaigned on issues such as anti-social behaviour and drug and alcohol misuse, the two issues which repeatedly came up on the doorstep were the problems cause by private landlords and also speeding.

However, he said he saw no reason to abandon Durham’s long-standing policy of not having fixed speed cameras.

He said: "Speed cameras are there to solve a problem and once that problem is solved you should move on, otherwise they appear to be a punishment."

Mr Hogg, who lives in Chester-le-Street, said he planned to work at least one day a week in Darlington to be more accessible to residents and also planned to set up citizens panels in all seven of the force area’s Parliamentary constituencies "to act as my eyes and my ears and my conscience."

Speaking moments after the result was declared, Temporary Chief Constable Mike Barton said: "Ron Hogg is absolutely a man I can do business with - he is a diligent, committed and wise public servant who has experience of policing and understands the concept of operational independence.

"I have never worked with Ron before, our paths never crossed, but his concentration on looking after victims of crime is absolutely right".

He added: "I am pleased the uncertainty is now over and we can move on with the real business of catching criminals and keeping our communities safe."

RESULT (1st preference votes) Ron Hogg (Lab) - 36171 (51.6%) Kingsley Smith (Ind) - 18813 (26.8%) Mike Costello (UKIP) - 8257 (11.8%) Nick Varley (Cons) - 6900 (9.8%) Turn out - 14.7%

Comments (11)

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7:38pm Fri 16 Nov 12

sensible says...

ah - he had a 'manifesto' for the campaign, but changed his mind as soon as he was elected! Brilliant!
ah - he had a 'manifesto' for the campaign, but changed his mind as soon as he was elected! Brilliant! sensible
  • Score: 2

9:32am Sat 17 Nov 12

gramps427 says...

I wish him well in his new job; he's going to need at least 30 hours in every day for the first year at least. As for the political parties and their need to re-engage with ordinary people; its not going to happen. The people have been betrayed in this region by politicians of both main parties; they have set us aside, much as a farmer did with his fields, to concentrate power and wealth in London & the South East. As for the low turn out, the month has nothing to do with it; no case was made for why we need a lot of political party people running a supposedly independent police force.
I wish him well in his new job; he's going to need at least 30 hours in every day for the first year at least. As for the political parties and their need to re-engage with ordinary people; its not going to happen. The people have been betrayed in this region by politicians of both main parties; they have set us aside, much as a farmer did with his fields, to concentrate power and wealth in London & the South East. As for the low turn out, the month has nothing to do with it; no case was made for why we need a lot of political party people running a supposedly independent police force. gramps427
  • Score: 0

9:45am Sat 17 Nov 12

st-george1 says...

… why do so many people treat losers, bullies and abusers as though were winners, when clearly they are not !

You vote for what you get it seems … but this politically sponsored RED ROSE result was very very bad for policing, bad for democracy and bad for taxpayers AND looked more like a local by-election scruff-gathering, so look out folks ... this in my opinion is rule breaking and fraud at its worst … ?
… why do so many people treat losers, bullies and abusers as though were winners, when clearly they are not ! You vote for what you get it seems … but this politically sponsored RED ROSE result was very very bad for policing, bad for democracy and bad for taxpayers AND looked more like a local by-election scruff-gathering, so look out folks ... this in my opinion is rule breaking and fraud at its worst … ? st-george1
  • Score: -1

10:06am Sat 17 Nov 12

YouandI says...

I too wish Mr Hogg well - and I hope he remembers too that first and foremost he's a representative of the Government and a servant of the public.
I too wish Mr Hogg well - and I hope he remembers too that first and foremost he's a representative of the Government and a servant of the public. YouandI
  • Score: 2

10:43am Sat 17 Nov 12

bedan42 says...

...retired from Cleveland Police...well that's all right then innit??....no baggage there
...retired from Cleveland Police...well that's all right then innit??....no baggage there bedan42
  • Score: 1

7:52pm Sat 17 Nov 12

loonyleft says...

st george,so if a labour candidate wins it's bad for democracy? were you the sort of boy that if you couldn't win at football,you went home in a sulk eh?
st george,so if a labour candidate wins it's bad for democracy? were you the sort of boy that if you couldn't win at football,you went home in a sulk eh? loonyleft
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Idontknowaboutyoubut says...

Probably the best man for the job.I didn't see much else to inspire me in the other candidates.I DID see something that concerned me,from the contender in the Blue corner,who sees nothing wrong with privatising the police!!.Who the hell wants G4S in charge of their personal security?
I wish Mr.Hogg the best of luck in his new role.It will be challenging.I hope he's up to the job...
Probably the best man for the job.I didn't see much else to inspire me in the other candidates.I DID see something that concerned me,from the contender in the Blue corner,who sees nothing wrong with privatising the police!!.Who the hell wants G4S in charge of their personal security? I wish Mr.Hogg the best of luck in his new role.It will be challenging.I hope he's up to the job... Idontknowaboutyoubut
  • Score: 1

7:47am Sun 18 Nov 12

Mr A says...

What does a police commissioner do apart from send for Batman?
What does a police commissioner do apart from send for Batman? Mr A
  • Score: 1

9:37am Sun 18 Nov 12

oliviaden6 says...

Anger on the door step? It would have been nice to have seen one of the candidates on my door step. The whole election of PCC's has been a debacle from start to finish. If this is whats to come from these officials we dont need them it is another job creation scheme for the BOYS and guess who is paying for it WE ARE!
Anger on the door step? It would have been nice to have seen one of the candidates on my door step. The whole election of PCC's has been a debacle from start to finish. If this is whats to come from these officials we dont need them it is another job creation scheme for the BOYS and guess who is paying for it WE ARE! oliviaden6
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Sun 18 Nov 12

always right says...

oliviaden6 wrote:
Anger on the door step? It would have been nice to have seen one of the candidates on my door step. The whole election of PCC's has been a debacle from start to finish. If this is whats to come from these officials we dont need them it is another job creation scheme for the BOYS and guess who is paying for it WE ARE!
VERY TRUE.
[quote][p][bold]oliviaden6[/bold] wrote: Anger on the door step? It would have been nice to have seen one of the candidates on my door step. The whole election of PCC's has been a debacle from start to finish. If this is whats to come from these officials we dont need them it is another job creation scheme for the BOYS and guess who is paying for it WE ARE![/p][/quote]VERY TRUE. always right
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Mon 19 Nov 12

st-george1 says...

One thing in common … for 3 of the NE candidates ... they all had something to do with the most disgraced fraudulent and corrupt Police Force and its Authority in the UK … only in the North East of England would so many people treat snobs, losers, bullies and abusers as though they were winners, when clearly they are not … a case of getting what you asked from the few !
One thing in common … for 3 of the NE candidates ... they all had something to do with the most disgraced fraudulent and corrupt Police Force and its Authority in the UK … only in the North East of England would so many people treat snobs, losers, bullies and abusers as though they were winners, when clearly they are not … a case of getting what you asked from the few ! st-george1
  • Score: 1

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