Newly elected Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison reveals his priorities for the force and admits his victory was a shock

The race to become Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) took a twist before voters even took to the polls when the previous Conservative candidate dropped out following allegations over dishonesty.

Despite this, and a much quieter campaign than normal, the new chosen Tory candidate Jonathan Evison was successful in unseating his incumbent Labour rival Keith Hunter last month to become the new PCC for Humberside.

"There is still an investigation ongoing into the previous candidate and therefore I cannot possibly comment on what has happened previously,” Mr Evison says. “I just knew I had to get my head down and work out how we could do a campaign in such a short time with little money and try to do the best job we could.

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"Fortunately, the national picture was on our side and we were able to use quite a few new tools and techniques - such as social media - which perhaps conventionally we wouldn’t have used.”

The new Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison.

Mr Evison won the election with a total of 79,534 votes - 71,554 of which were first preferences and 7,980 second preferences.

While the result was a shock to him, Mr Evison reveals his police and crime panel background had led him to consider standing for the role some years ago

“I was actually repairing my shed roof when I got the telephone call with the election result - and I nearly fell off,” Mr Evison recalls.

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Labour's Humberside police and crime commissioner Keith Hunter ousted by Conserv...
The new Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison.

Going back to 2016 when Mr Hunter was elected as PCC, Humberside Police was branded the worst police force in the country. With a lot of hard work and investment it is now one of the best with an impressive Chief Constable at the helm.

Mr Evison said: “The force is in a far, far better place than it was and we have an extremely competent and professional Chief Constable.

“Keith put a lot of things in place that has allowed the Chief to do a terrific job. I very much supported Keith in a lot of things he put forward.

“Myself and the Chief have very similar views on how you manage. I come from an electrical engineer and production management background with total quality management and continuous improvement so we are on a level together and we will continue to build the police and crime agenda in the Humber region as we go forward.

“I see it as though I’ve got to put the polish on the force and and I’m certainly going to do that. There is still an awful lot of polishing to do but we have some really, really good passionate people and I’ve been singly impressed by just about everybody.”

Mr Evison is currently setting out his police and crime plan, which he says sets the tone and vision for the future of the force.

He is also keen to tackle violence against women and girls and has voiced his support for education programs, catching people before they get involved in crime.

“I want the public to feel reassured that the force is there for them and I shall be out there showing and telling them what is happening,” Mr Evison said.

“I want to tackle antisocial behaviour, I want to tackle drugs, I want to to increase the rural crime side of policing, but I also want to have an education program going forward, particularly where drugs are concerned so we get ahead of the curve with young people that could fall into the criminal system.

“I will be engaging with the public heavily. I am very passionate about this agenda and I shall be talking to people and finding out their views and trying to align organisations - like the local authorities -on the same agenda because I think we have more power when we work together.

Mr Evison has decided not to have a deputy unlike his Conservative predecessor Matthew Grove.

He said: “It just isn’t necessary, I would much rather spend that money on a professional within the PCC office if needed.

He also has no plans to take on the scrutiny of the fire service unlike his counterpart in North Yorkshire.

“It’s not something that’s on my agenda,” he said. “I think I’ve got a big enough job with the police force.”

Mr Evison expects to have his police and crime plan finalised in the next three months.

He said: “Ultimately, when I look at Humberside Police I see something that is good, but we can make that better, and we’ve got the people with the skills to do that.”