PCC ELECTIONS: Record number of women fight to become police and crime commissioners


A RECORD number of women will fight to be police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in the elections on May 6.

There are 48 female candidates standing across England and Wales - almost a quarter of the total 202 candidates.

In England 30 women are standing in 35 seats, while in the four PCC elections in Wales there are eight female contenders.

And, in the three city areas where the Mayor has been given PCC-like powers over policing, ten women will be on ballot papers, including the former Coronation Street actress and Labour MP Tracy Brabin (pictured above), who is standing in West Yorkshire.

PCCs, took over the role of the former unelected police authorities nearly ten years ago and determine their force’s policing priorities, budget and council tax precept.

They also commission victims’ services and crime reduction programmes.

They also have powers to appoint the chief constable and, if necessary, dismiss them.

Danny Shaw, Head of Strategy at Crest Advisory, which researches crime trends for PCCs across the country, said: "Women are seriously under-represented among candidates.

"However, it’s the highest number of female contenders in any of the three PCC elections.

"Tracy Brabin, could become the first ever female Metro Mayor in West Yorkshire, which has never had a regional mayor with policing powers before.

"She has pledged to give up her Commons seat if elected."

In the first PCC elections in November 2012, there were 35 female candidates in 41 seats, while in the May 2016 poll only 29 women stood, in 40 areas.

In all, there are 202 candidates in the elections - 145 in the English PCC seats; 21 in Wales; and 36 in the Mayoral contests.

They include dozens of retired police officers and former members of the Armed Forces; a large number of local councillors; several lawyers - and a sweet shop owner.

The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are fielding candidates in every seat, with Reform UK and the Greens among the parties running in selected areas only.

Plaid Cymru is contesting all four elections in Wales.

The role of PCCs has expanded since their introduction nine years ago - and is likely to increase further after the elections as a result of a Home Office review.

Four PCCs also currently have responsibility for fire and rescue services and ministers are considering plans which would extend such powers to PCCs and Mayors in other areas.