WYRE Forest voters picked the winner as Independent Bill Longmore was elected West Mercia’s first police and crime commissioner.

With second and first preference votes counted, Mr Longmore won 71,955, including 21,055 second preference votes, compared to Conservative Adrian Blackshaw’s 54,999, including 5,201 second preferences.

Labour’s Dr Simon Murphy was elminated before second preference votes were counted after no candidate won 50 per cent of the vote in the first round. He received 34,652 votes, the fewest number of first preferences.

Wyre Forest was the first of nine in the West Mercia Police area to declare both first and second preference results, with Mr Longmore receiving 5,414 - 55 per cent - in the district, although just 12.5 per cent of registered electors voted.

Following the announcement, Mr Longmore said: "I am a man of the people and this result shows that people don't want politics in the police."

He will take up his role on Thursday, November 22, when West Mercia Police Authority will cease to exist.

The former Staffordshire policeman, businessman and community sports worker will take on several of the authority’s roles, such as setting the police budget.

Speaking about Mr Longmore's appointment, West Mercia chief constable David Shaw said: "On behalf of the whole workforce at West Mercia Police, we are very much looking forward to working with Mr Longmore.

“We will work to ensure the people of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire continue to get the best possible protection and service from the force.

"The election of a police and crime commissioner is an important development for the public, West Mercia Police and partners, all of whom work together to make West Mercia a safe place to live, work and visit.

"Mr Longmore is already aware of the policing challenges West Mercia faces and I will be discussing these with him in greater detail when he takes up his role.

"I thoroughly look forward to building a positive, professional working relationship with Mr Longmore as we enter an unprecedented period of change, challenge and opportunity."