Tyne & Wear

Kim McGuinness elected as Northumbria police commissioner

Kim McGuinness Image copyright Simon Greener
Image caption Kim McGuinness said she wanted to put "victims first"

The Labour candidate Kim McGuinness has been elected the next Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

It follows the resignation of Dame Vera Baird, who stepped down from the post after being appointed as the new victims' commissioner.

Turnout was 15% and Newcastle Council said one ballot ballot box, for Spital Tongues, was returned empty.

Asked about the low turnout, Ms McGuinness, 34, admitted it was a challenging time to hold a by-election.

However, she insisted the role was key to good policing.

Second count

No candidate gained more than the required 50% of votes, so second preferences were taken into account.

There were 24,651 votes separating Ms McGuiness and the Independent candidate, Georgina Hill.

The second count left Ms McGuinness, the cabinet member for culture, sport and public health on Newcastle City Council, with 67,332 against Ms Hill's 61,633.

PCCs are responsible for holding police forces to account, hiring and firing chief constables and setting budgets.

The region's first commissioner election in November 2012 and the second in May 2016 were both won comfortably by Dame Vera.

People across Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, north and south Tyneside, and Wearside were eligible to vote.

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