Bedfordshire’s PCC faces uncertain future

Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner remained tight-lipped about her future in the role after a meeting of the county’s police and crime panel.

The Bedford Independent understands that the local Conservative Party has discreetly sounded out alternative candidates to replace Kathryn Holloway.

But the PCC is not prepared to reveal her future plans just yet, with her role up for re-election next year.

The Conservative politician and former presenter on ITV’s TV-am was voted into the post in 2016.

Asked whether she would be standing for re-election, the PCC replied, “I am saying exactly what I said before. The Conservatives haven’t had their selection process.

“I don’t intend to announce my professional plans or predict what might happen in advance.

“They will have their selection process and then announce who’s going to go forward.”

At a meeting on Tuesday 15 October, the closest the PCC came to indicating whether she might be leaving was in a reference to recent rest area improvements at Luton Police Station.

She told the panel that one officer, grateful for the new facilities, had shouted after her, down a corridor, “Thank you for your loveliness in there, commissioner.”

The PCC said, “It’s one of the memories, the happiest memories, I will take away from Bedfordshire Police, a nice moment.”

Her office had said previously, “We understand that the party is currently concentrating on recruiting candidates for the local parliamentary seats.”

Opposing views in Parliament over the UK exiting the European Union could trigger a General Election at any time, while the PCC elections are not due to take place until next May.

Kathryn Holloway Police and Crime Panel
Police and Crime Panel

Kathryn Holloway replaced Labour’s Olly Martins in the role, after his success in the first PCC elections in 2012.

The PCC holds the Bedfordshire Chief Constable and the county force to account, making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

Originally there were plans to ensure commissioners served a maximum of two terms in office.

But that limit was scrapped while the legislation to introduce the PCCs was progressing through Parliament.

A perceived lack of interest from voters meant less than a quarter of the electorate, 23.7 per cent, voted in 2016.

By Local Democracy Reporter Euan Duncan
with additional words by the Bedford Independent