Win for Labour as Simon Foster re-elected as PCC

Thousands of voters across the West Midlands have chosen Simon Foster as their Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). Mr Foster, who was the incumbent PCC, won with 327,844 votes ahead of the Conservative Party’s Tom Byrne, a former police officer, who received 241,827 votes.

Speaking after the declaration, Mr Foster praised his "brilliant team" and paid tribute to those who had put their "faith and trust" in him. The PCC essentially acts as a voice for residents and holds the police force to account, ensuring police are answerable to the communities they service.

The PCC also has the power to hire and fire the Chief Constable. Mr Foster, a legal aid solicitor, was first elected to the role three years ago.

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“Ever since then, I’ve dedicated myself to holding the police service to account on your behalf to ensure justice, security and safety for all our people and communities across the West Midlands,” he said prior to the election. He has previously hit out at the Conservative government, saying cuts had left the police force “seriously unfunded”.

“Despite the challenges, we’ve recruited 1,451 additional police officers, invested 570 police officers into community policing,” he continued. “The 999 and 101 service has been transformed and there have been significant improvements in emergency response times.”

Mr Byrne meanwhile had argued that the people of the West Midlands had been let down by a succession of Labour PCCs since 2012, pointing to knife crime rates and the fact West Midlands Police was put into ‘special measures’. According to the West Midlands PCC website: “PCCs do not run the police force at an operational level.

“However, they must ensure those who are in charge do a good job. The PCC decides what the force should be focusing on and the crimes it should prioritise.

“The PCC must also bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure organisations work together to fight crime and help victims.”

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