Winston Roddick elected as North Wales police and crime commissioner

Winston Roddick makes his victory speech
Image caption Winston Roddick makes his victory speech

Winston Roddick has become the first police and crime commissioner for North Wales, standing as an independent.

The barrister and former senior legal adviser to the assembly was elected at a count at Deeside College following Thursday's poll.

PCCs, as they will be known, will be responsible for setting priorities for their police force, overseeing its budget and hiring the chief constable.

Mr Roddick beat Labour's Tal Michael in the second round of counting.

He received 35,688 votes in total, while Mr Michael had 27,128.

He is one of Wales' leading barristers and was Wales' first Counsel General, the most senior legal adviser to the Welsh assembly.

The QC began his career as a police constable in Liverpool before becoming a barrister and has been a crown court recorder.

After his victory, Mr Roddick said he was aware of the "big challenge ahead".

"I hope I'm up to the challenge and I hope that I will get the assistance from the interested groups that has been promised," he said.

"But I make a personal commitment that I will commit myself to these challenges and I will do my utmost to score the points I said need scoring in giving the people of north Wales the police service they're entitled to."

In his campaign, Mr Roddick said the police commissioner needed to act independently of political interference.

He beat Labour's Tal Michael, the former chief executive of North Wales Police Authority, whose father is standing for election for the same post in the South Wales force area.

The count went to the second round, with the second preference votes from other candidates going forward.

Richard Eccles, secretary of North Wales Police Federation, representing rank-and-file officers, has written to Mr Roddick asking him to spell out his plans.

"We want to meet the new PCC as soon as possible and look forward to working with him," said Mr Eccles.

"He takes on this role at a critical time for policing. The government's 20% cuts to policing budgets are starting to bite and are affecting front-line services."

Those candidates eliminated after the first round were Irish-born Colm McCabe, the Conservative candidate, a former chief officer for the special constabulary in North Wales; Richard Hibbs, a Llanduno-based businessman, an independent, and Warwick Nicholson, a retired police officer, was Ukip's only candidate in Wales.

Mr McCabe received 11,485 votes, Mr Hibbs gained 11,453 and Mr Nicholson had 6,034.

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