CONSERVATIVE candidate Roger Hirst was voted in for his third term as Essex’s police fire and crime commissioner.

After a tense three hours in Colchester’s Charter Hall, the announcement was made at about 5pm on Friday by police area returning officer Pam Donnelly that Mr Hirst had won with 126,447 votes.

Labour candidate Adam Fox received 116,875 votes, making it one of the tightest contests Essex has seen in police fire and crime commissioner election history.

Liberal Democrat Keiran Franks received 52,922 votes, while Robin Tilbrook (English Democrats) had 44,909 votes.

Mr Hirst thanked everyone who had a hand in making the election an effective democratic process, as well as his competitors “for a good contest”.

He said “Thanks most of all to the public, for the confidence they’ve shown in the efforts we are making to get crime down and support the fire and rescue service across this great county.”

The total eligible voters for Essex is 1,387,527, of which 340,248 people voted in the poll - just uner 25 per cent.

The Colchester turnout was 30, with 41,897 votes cast.

Mr Hirst said said: “The last couple of terms have been really interesting.

“We’ve actually managed to get crime down, so that we’ve halved murder, we’ve reduced antisocial behaviour by two thirds.

“But I think strategically for the next four years the thing that we really need to change anew is violence against women and girls—reduce domestic abuse, reduce rape and serious sexual assault, helping young girls be safer.”

Mr Hirst plans to do this by utilising the Safer Streets Programme, which monitors particular places women and girls are at risk before installing CCTV, better lighting and better lines of sight.

He continued: “I also think it’s about changing perpetrators’ behaviour. And I’m really pleased that last year we did manage to reduce domestic abuse in the county, by about 14 per cent.”

Mr Hirst is also part way through a ten-year plan to combat drug and knife crime.

Labour candidate Adam Fox said: “This is the tightest this election has ever been in Essex, and I think a lot closer than people predicted, and I think that’s because residents across Essex are fed up with the Conservatives and are looking for an alternative.”

He continued: “In this election, Labour beat the Conservatives in key areas like Colchester, and I think that bodes well for the campaign for the next General Election and electing a new Labour MP in Colchester.”