Labour wins Police and Crime Commissioner election

LABOUR’S Clare Moody has been elected as Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner — narrowly defeating incumbent Conservative Mark Shelford.

Just over 300,000 people across Somerset, Bristol, and South Gloucestershire voted in the election for the person to set the direction of the local police force and hold them to account. But in the end, there were less than 5,000 votes between the two frontrunners.

Ms Moody received 95,982, while Mr Shelford — who was ahead in every council area except for Bristol — received 91,006. Katy Grant (Green) received 64,623 votes and Benet Allen (Liberal Democrat) received 45,864.

Turnout in the election was 23.09% — a drop from 30.72% in 2021 when the election was held alongside the West of England Metro Mayor election.

This time the only area where elections were happening at the same time was Bristol, where all-out city council elections were being held, apart from two by-elections in Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Clare Moody speaks following the declaration of the result

Ms Moody said: “Thank you to the voters of Avon and Somerset. Obviously, I am grateful for all those people who voted for me but my job now is to represent all the people of Avon and Somerset and I am honoured to be in that position.

“The priorities that I have are those that I campaigned on, which is about neighbourhood policing, it is around reducing violent crime, and that is particularly knife crime and violence against women and children. And it is also building that crime prevention that saves people from having to suffer from crime in the first place.

“It was a very close election; it was a very long night. It wasn’t clear all the way though the night how it was going to go. It was very uncertain but I am, as you might expect, thrilled with the outcome.”

Clare Moody and Chief Constable Sarah Crew shake hands following the announcement

Chief Constable Sarah Crew — who attended the election count — said: “Democracy has made its mark tonight. I’m really looking forward to working with the new police and crime commissioner designate to help her build her police and crime plan to help her build on her priorities that have led to her being successful tonight.

“But I am also really grateful for the work that the outgoing police and crime commissioner has done with me, with tackling the issues in Avon and Somerset.”

Mr Shelford said he would not give a comment if he lost.

Despite coming third, Ms Grant said: “It’s been a really solid result — particularly in Bristol where I look forward to a Green lead hopefully declared later today.”

Bristol City Council results were expected to be announced during the afternoon and evening today.

Overall result

Benet Allen (Liberal Democrat) – 45,864

Katy Grant (Green) – 64,623

Clare Moody (Labour) – 95,982

Mark Shelford (Conservative) – 91,006

Bristol result:

Benet Allen – 10,412

Katy Grant – 37,375

Clare Moody – 47,220

Mark Shelford – 19,788

South Gloucestershire result:

Benet Allen – 5,678

Katy Grant – 6,283

Clare Moody – 15,192

Mark Shelford – 17,528

By John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service