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Norfolk's newly-elected PCC to take office this week

Norfolk’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will officially take office on Thursday 13 May 2021.

Giles Orpen-Smellie was announced as Norfolk’s new PCC following elections held across England and Wales on Thursday 6 May 2021. 

The PCC is elected by the people of Norfolk to set the countywide strategy for reducing crime and disorder and improving community safety. They are the voice of the people in policing, holding Norfolk’s Chief Constable to account for delivering an efficient and effective police service. The PCC is also responsible for championing the needs of victims of crime and the vulnerable, providing local services to ensure that help and support are available to them. 

Winning the election with 119,994 votes (including second preference votes), Mr Orpen-Smellie stood as the Conservative candidate, alongside candidates from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and an independent.

The election was due to take place in May 2020 but was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Mr Orpen-Smellie will hold the post of PCC for three years rather than the usual four-year term. The new PCC term begins on Thursday 13 May 2021 after which he will be officially sworn in, taking the oath of impartiality that commits him to serving the interests of all people in Norfolk. 

One of Mr Orpen-Smellie's first jobs as PCC will be to set a new Police and Crime Plan for the county to supersede the plan set by his Conservative predecessor, Lorne Green, in 2016. In preparing that plan, the new PCC must seek the views of residents across the county, along with those of organisations involved in policing, community safety, criminal justice and victim support, to identify crime and disorder reduction priorities for Norfolk. 

The new PCC will also need to turn his attention to the appointment of a Chief Constable to lead Norfolk Constabulary when Simon Bailey retires at the end of June this year. While the current Deputy Chief Constable, Paul Sanford, will take on the Chief Constable role temporarily, it will be Mr Orpen-Smellie's responsibility as PCC to recruit and appoint a permanent replacement.

In carrying out his responsibilities as PCC, Mr Orpen-Smellie will be supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN). The OPCCN is apolitical and independent from the PCC. 

Led by its Chief Executive, Mark Stokes, the office works with the elected PCC to deliver their Police and Crime Plan. This includes designing and delivering services to help victims of crime to cope and recover, improve community safety and reduce offending, and ensure Norfolk residents have the opportunity to get involved with keeping Norfolk safe and have their voices heard. 

OPCCN Chief Executive Mark Stokes said: “My team and I look forward to officially welcoming Mr Orpen-Smellie as Norfolk’s new PCC on 13 May and supporting him as he gets started on delivering the role and working for the people of the county over the coming weeks and months. 

“The OPCCN offers to the PCC a vast amount of knowledge, experience and expertise in areas such as community safety, criminal justice, victim support, policy, performance and scrutiny, finance management, public engagement and communication. I know the team will be a great support to Mr Orpen-Smellie as he embarks on the process of creating and delivering a Police and Crime Plan for Norfolk that helps to keep all who live, work and visit here safe.”