JOHN Dwyer Warrington’s new police and crime commissioner says he has public support despite a historically low turnout.

The Conservative won the first public vote for the role on Friday and will formally take control of police budgets on Thursday.

But the count was marred by voting figures with a 13.33 per cent turnout in Warrington.

Cheshire wide was only marginally better with 14.08 per cent turnout.

Speaking after winning the vote Mr Dwyer said he still had a mandate from the public to take up the role.

He said: “The turnout was disappointingly low and I have to ensure there’s a better understanding of the role.

“I have got the support of the people who turned out to vote. Everyone knew there was an election while not everyone understood what the role was.

“Some decided not to vote.

“November is a poor time of year to have an election. When you get home and it’s dark there’s not much incentive to vote in an election. I think the Government have understood that.”

He believes the role gives the public more of a say on policing and crime in their area.

Mr Dwyer added: “I’m sure the vast majority didn’t even know about the police authority which my role replaces.

“At long last since the start of the modern police force the public have had a real say in how the police is delivered. That has never happened before.”

And he says those with questions over whether the former assistant chief constable of Cheshire Police can remain impartial in his role will be shown it is not a problem.

“It isn’t an issue for me and isn’t an issue for the police,” he said. “I have been able to hit the ground running, I have understood what’s going on without having to go through lengthy briefings.”

“There is an awful lot of work to do, it won’t be done overnight and there won’t be any kneejerk moves.

“The post doesn’t formally start until Thursday but I agreed to come in early so we could start.”

And with policies including creating 1,000 special constables in every village there is much for Mr Dwyer to do in his three and a half year term.