VOTING has started in the election to choose the next Sussex police and crime commissioner (PCC).

PCCs are officials elected by the public to hold chief constables of police forces to account and make the police answerable to the communities they serve.

The Argus: Katy Bourne, currently PCC, holds Chief Constable Jo Shiner to accountKaty Bourne, currently PCC, holds Chief Constable Jo Shiner to account

The role of a PCC was created in November 2012 under the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition to address the perceived out of touch nature and lack of accountability of policing authorities.

At the time the Home Office described PCCs as “the most significant democratic reform of policing in our lifetime”.

The first PCCs were elected on November 15, 2012.

Elections have been held every four years since 2012 until last year when coronavirus restrictions meant they could not go ahead.

However, it is expected that the next elections, following this year, will take place in 2024 to realign with the original four-year gap.

In all, there are 202 candidates in this year’s PCC elections, 145 in the English PCC seats, 21 in Wales, and 36 in the mayoral contests.

The following candidates are standing in Sussex

To vote in a PCC election you must

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on polling day
  • be a British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • be resident at an address in England or Wales
  • not be legally excluded from voting

PCCs are elected using the supplementary vote system. You make a first and second choice when you vote.

If no candidate gets more than 50% of the first choice votes, all except the top two candidates are eliminated.

If your first choice candidate is eliminated, and your second choice is for one of the top two, your second choice is counted.