Independent candidate Bill Longmore has been elected West Mercia’s first ever police and crime commissioner.

After people went to the polls yesterday the results of a close-run contest for the £75,000-a-year post have just been announced.

Mr Longmore and Conservative candidate Adrian Blackshaw were split by little more than one per cent of the votes in the initial count.

A second count was then carried out with the last placed candidate, Labour’s Simon Murphy, eliminated and his voters’ second choices being taken into account.

Mr Longmore’s victory and election to the new £75,000 a year post has been confirmed in the last few moments.

West Mercia Police's Chief Constable David Shaw immediately offered his congratulations.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Mr Longmore to ensure the people of Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin continue to get the best possible protection and service from the force,” he said. “"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 on Thursday, November 22.

“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.”

As commissioner, Mr Longmore will be responsible for setting West Mercia Police's budget, policing priorities and hiring or firing the chief constable, although the force will retain operational independence so decisions about investigations cannot be influenced by politics.