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NEW PCC FOR BEDFORDSHIRE TAKES ON THE TASK WITH AN UNCOMPROMISING MESSAGE TO THE COUNTY'S CRIMINALS
Former tv newswoman Kathryn Holloway took on the role of Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner after Friday’s election count (May 6) with a clear message to the county’s criminals.

“If you’re a robber, a thief or a car-taker and, particularly, if you beat your partner or abuse a child, you should know that I will support my Chief Constable and officers and - together - we’re coming after you,” she told the audience and media after the result was declared.

She also stressed her commitment to more visible local Community Policing across the county, to a more equal deal on policing whether living in the town or country and to ensure residents are dealt with fairly and professionally by police, irrespective of who they are, as a genuine Commissioner for all.

Kathryn was speaking immediately after learning of her victory in the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner election, which was declared at the Inspire Leisure Centre, in Hitchin Road, Stopsley, Luton, after simultaneous counts of votes at Bedford Borough Hall and the Central Bedfordshire Council headquarters at Chicksands.

She also thanked the staff who had conducted the election and every supporter who had helped her on the doorsteps of Bedfordshire. “At times the PCC election seems an insurmountable task. There are 670,000 residents in this county and it is quite literally impossible for any individual to meet every one of them in person or for any party, within the available budget, to put a leaflet through the letterbox of every home, “she said.

Kathryn won on the second round of the PCC election once the second preference votes on ballot papers of those candidates who did not make the top two were taken into consideration.

Later she said how pleased she had been with the turn-out as the PCC election was only running for the second time. “Enough people voted this time in Bedfordshire to fill Old Trafford to capacity almost one and a half times over and, by any standards, that’s a huge crowd making the decision to vote on policing and gives a real democratic mandate to me as PCC in future.

“In some areas, voting virtually doubled on the 12-15% turnout last time and if we could do that every time, as we look ahead, it would show the public is really understanding the role and the fact that the Commissioner speaks for them in making sure their priorities on policing and crime are acted on by the Force.”
She said this was particularly impressive given the absence of other local elections, meaning people were voting only for the PCC, and given the excellent weather, after a period of unseasonable cold.

Mrs Holloway did not duck the arguments over the need for increased funding for Bedfordshire Police, repeated by her predecessor Olly Martins, throughout his three and a half year term, but insisted, “I’m told I’m pushing on an open door.”

She explained that Policing Minister Mike Penning met with her in the run-up to the election and stated, on the record in the presence of a tv news crew, his “personal commitment and that of the Government to fairer funding for Bedfordshire Police.”

“He warned though that this doesn’t mean a blank cheque, which is absolutely right as the other key part of the Commissioner’s task is to make sure the existing £100 million budget is spent effectively getting the Force and the taxpayer best value for money,” she said.
Kathryn Holloway gained 51.57% or 47,397 votes, out of a total 109,270 votes cast. Her closest opponent, the former PCC Mr Martins, gained 44,514.

Mrs Holloway is a former reporter who filed stories for news services ITN, TV-am and Sky News as well as presenting for the breakfast station, Sky and LBC Radio. Since 2000 she has built an international reputation in the release of public information in an emergency working with police, fire and military chiefs and the boards of some of Britain’s largest companies.

The other candidates were Liberal Democrat Linda Jack, UKIP’s Duncan Strachan and English Democrat Toni Bugle.

Mrs Holloway will take up her new role on Thursday May 12th as the contract for the existing Commissioner expires at midnight on Wednesday 11th to allow for a hand-over.

Media Enquires - Katie Stanton:  01234 842872