FORMER deputy crime commissioner Flick Drummond has been named as the Conservative candidate for the top job.
Mrs Drummond was chosen by fellow party members at a meeting of around 250 people in Winchester yesterday afternoon.
The former Portsmouth South MP beat Simon Hayes who served in the post between 2012-2016. He was also standing for the candidature after returning to the party from being an independent.
Mrs Drummond worked as deputy for current crime commissioner Michael Lane in September-October 2017, but she quit by ‘mutual agreement’ after two months. Mr Lane was ousted as candidate in June.
She said she was ‘delighted' and if elected next year will aim to get more ‘visible policing’ and tackle the scourge of county lines drug gangs.
Mrs Drummond said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the Conservative candidate for next May’s police and crime commissioner election in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
‘The job is one of vital importance to everyone in the two counties and I will be campaigning on three priorities in the months to come.
‘Firstly, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight needs to ensure it gets a fair allocation of the 20,000 new police officers, plus adequate funds for their training.
‘Secondly, we need more visible policing to cut crime and we must build the resilience for our young people to stop them going into criminal activity, in particular regarding county lines gangs.
‘Thirdly, I will campaign on a policy of a more transparent and efficient police and crime commissioner that is accountable to people on every level. More work is also needed to explain what a PCC does and how important it is to hold the police to account in all cases.
‘Finally, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me today and I pledge to repay their faith in me as I campaign over the coming months on Conservative police and crime policies and work hard on framing new initiatives to ensure, if elected, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is the safest possible place to live and work.’
As revealed by The News, current incumbent Mr Lane has been deselected by his party in June following a tumultuous year.
Police officers voted that they had no confidence in him in a poll run by Hampshire Police Federation.
Portsmouth councillor Donna Jones, who is Portsmouth South’s MP candidate for the party, tweeted: ‘Congratulations to @FlickD selected as the @Conservatives candidate for #Hampshire police & crime commissioner.
‘I look forward to supporting Flick as she campaigns across the county addressing both urban & rural crime.’
The crime commissioner role was created in 2012. Mr Hayes was elected as an independent, and Mr Lane as a Conservative.
Mr Hayes said: ‘I congratulate Flick on being selected last night.
‘It is a huge privilege to be PCC for Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
‘Naturally, I'm disappointed not to have the opportunity to serve again but wish Flick, if she's elected next year, a successful term in office.’