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Everything you need to know before PCC election day

Gwent Police headquarters (Pic: Google)

VOTERS will head to polling stations on Thursday May 2 to choose the next police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the Gwent Police area.

This election marks several firsts in Wales, including the requirement for people to show identification before they cast their votes.
 
What does a police and crime commissioner do?

PCCs are elected by the public to hold their local police force and chief constable to account.

The role was introduced by the coalition government more than a decade ago, as part of reforms designed to make the police more accountable to citizens.

The first PCCs took up their roles in 2012.

The main responsibilities of PCCs include listening to members of the public and victims of crime so that policing takes local needs into account, as well as working with councils and other organisations to promote community safety.

PCCs do not lead police forces but they do have the power to appoint and dismiss chief constables.

Every PCC swears an oath of impartiality when they are elected to office, promising to serve all the people in their police force area “without fear or favour”.

The oath also states PCCs will not seek to “influence or prevent any lawful and reasonable investigation or arrest”.
 
Who is running to be the next PCC in Gwent?

The candidates in Gwent for the upcoming election are:

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  • Donna Cushing, Plaid Cymru
  • Mike Hamilton, Welsh Liberal Democrats
  • Hannah Jarvis, Conservatives
  • Jane Mudd, Labour and Co-operative Party

 
When and where can I vote?

Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm on Thursday May 2.

Each voter will have a designated local polling station named on their polling card.
 
Voter ID

The PCC elections will be the first time that voters in Wales have to show photographic ID at polling stations.

This is due to a law change by the UK Government in 2022, over fears of electoral fraud – but the introduction of voter ID in the UK is a controversial issue.

Acceptable forms of photo ID include a passport, driving licence or blue badge.

A full list of valid forms of ID can be found on the Electoral Commission website.
 
How is a winner chosen?

The next PCC will be chosen using the first-past-the-post election system, meaning the candidate with the most votes wins the election.

Voters must only choose one candidate on their ballot paper.

This year’s election marks another milestone, as it is the first time PCCs are chosen this way.

Previously, PCC elections used a supplementary vote system by which voters could choose a first- and second-choice candidate.
 
When will a winner be announced?

Vote counting in Gwent will start at 9am on Friday May 3.

The Electoral Commission website’s list of valid forms of photo ID: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voting-and-elections/voter-id/accepted-forms-photo-id

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