New Labour police commissioner in Nottinghamshire to prioritise trust in force

Labour’s Gary Godden defeated Tory Caroline Henry by more than 40,000 votes

Gary Godden (R), Caroline Henry (L) and David Watts. (Photo: LDRS)

Jamie Waller

THE newly-elected Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner says ensuring there’s trust in the force will be a big part of his job.

Labour’s Gary Godden defeated Tory Caroline Henry convincingly by more than 40,000 votes.

The former police officer of 15 years will now be tasked with holding the force to account.

Nottinghamshire Police was recently placed in special measures by a police watchdog for its investigations and how it handles victims, while forces across the country are facing increased scrutiny for officers’ conduct.

Godden said he was “humbled” by the victory, which saw him win every single district across Nottinghamshire.

Speaking shortly after his election, he said: “Ensuring there’s trust in the police is a big part of my job.

“I am there to hold the Chief Constable to account and ensure there’s a policing plan to reflect the priorities on the community.”

He promised to connect with the police of Nottinghamshire and understand what they wanted.

Outgoing PCC Caroline Henry said she regretted not being able to see the work through to take the force out of special measures.

“The force will absolutely get out of special measures. I was disappointed when they went into Engage status, but there is a plan to fix that and that work has already started,” she said.

“Three years isn’t a long done to do as much as I wanted, but we achieved 10% more police on the beat and a massive reduction in local crime. I would have loved to have done more.”

Liberal Democrat candidate David Watts urged the next PCC to get the force talking to the public.

“One of the places Nottinghamshire Police fall short is they’re not very good at communicating. They need to learn from recent bad media and explain what they’re doing to the public,” he said.

“The PCC should be making sure we tackle crime and the fear of crime so people know that things can get better.

“They need to make sure that the whole of the county has an effective police force and it’s not just sucked into the city.”

PCCs set the force’s £290m budget, decides how much council tax residents should pay, and ensures the public gets value for money.

Turnout for the county-wide election was 28.1 per cent, with results coming several hours later than anticipated due to delays in counting the East Midlands mayoral race.

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)