Beds PCC election: Conservative Festus Akinbusoye wins race to be Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

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Conservative Festus Akinbusoye has been elected as Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) following yesterday's (Thursday) election.

The hotly-contested race saw the Bedfordshire businessman triumph after over a year of campaigning.

At today's election count at Luton's Inspire Sports Village, the newly elected PCC thanked his followers and praised his "utterly fantastic campaign team".

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Mr Akinbusoye said: "I have to also thank Kathryn Holloway [the outgoing PCC]. I know Kathryn somewhat well, as do some of you. For her to have achieved what she has for Bedfordshire over the last four plus one years is quite remarkable and I have to thank her for her effort and her work.

Festus Akinbusoye with Home Secretary Priti Pate during a recent visit to Bedford AcademyFestus Akinbusoye with Home Secretary Priti Pate during a recent visit to Bedford Academy
Festus Akinbusoye with Home Secretary Priti Pate during a recent visit to Bedford Academy

"I want to also thank all the voters in Bedfordshire for their trust and confidence in me. I don't think I fully understand the magnitude of the role, but I think I have enough of an idea so that I am ready to do what it takes to make our residents safer and to prevent people from becoming victims in the first place."

Mr Akinbusoye also paid tribute to his political opponent in the race, Labour's David Michael.

"I know that he's a retired detective chief inspector and I thank you for the fantastic work you did in the Met and for a fantastic campaign as well.

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"The success I hope to achieve as PCC will only be possible if we have everyone working together.

"One thing I am absolutely committed to doing is to work closely with all the members of Parliament for Bedfordshire, the local authorities' councillors and residents, because the success of Bedfordshire Police will be relying on a united effort from all of us together.

"I pledge to do all I can to build bridges and make them stronger where they exist."

The final results, including the second round of voting, were as follows:

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> Festus Akinbusoye (Con) secured 8,093 of the second preference votes for a total of 59,793;

> David Michael (Lab) secured 8,107 of the second preference votes for a total of 50,815.

The overall turnout was 24.9 per cent.

The total number of votes cast in Bedfordshire was 123,777

See full results at the PCC election in Bedfordshire was a joint enterprise between Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Council with the latter taking the lead. Election teams from each authority combined to provide a coordinated approach to running the election.

Robin Porter, Police Area Returning Officer for Bedfordshire said: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic this has been a PCC election process like no other. Many people have worked tremendously hard, not just in the last two days, but in the period beforehand to ensure residents could vote safely.

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"It has been my privilege to work alongside highly professional colleagues, not just here in Luton, but in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire in delivering this election. The three teams across the authorities have collaborated extremely well and I am pleased to say that, despite the challenges, this has been another successful day for democracy across the county.”

The final count took place at Inspire Sports Centre and concluded at 5.45pm.

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