Turnout hopes for South Yorks crime tsar election

Live PCC debate hosted by The Star at the Pennine Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University. 'Live PCC debate hosted by The Star at the Pennine Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University. ''Crimonologist Craig Paterson
Live PCC debate hosted by The Star at the Pennine Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University. 'Live PCC debate hosted by The Star at the Pennine Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University. ''Crimonologist Craig Paterson
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Turnout in today’s election for a new crime tsar for South Yorkshire is expected to be higher than last time, an expert predicts.

Turnout in tomorrow’s election for a new crime tsar for South Yorkshire is expected to be higher than last time, an expert predicts.

The region is going to the polls to choose its next police and crime commissioner after former Labour PCC Shaun Wright stood down in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.

At the last election in 2012, the turnout was just 14.53 per cent among an electorate of around one million people.

Dr Craig Paterson, senior lecturer in criminology at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “I think it will be higher because there are issues the wider public have engaged with, in relation to what happened with Shaun Wright and the scandals that have happened in South Yorkshire, whether it is to do with Rotherham, Orgreave or Hillsborough.

“I think it will increase the turnout, but not too dramatically, because I’m not convinced it will galvanise masses of people out to vote.”

The four candidates in the by-election are English Democrats candidate David Allen, Labour’s Rev Dr Alan Billings, UKIP’s Coun Jack Clarkson and Conservative Ian Walker.

Dr Paterson said he expected it to be a ‘tight run’ result and, if UKIP won, it could have an impact on the role of PCC and next year’s general election.

He said that high profile coverage of the role following the Jay Report meant there was a better ‘public understanding’ of the complexities of the role.

The results of the by-election will be counted tomorrow morning in Barnsley.