Former detective defeats former MP to win Cambridgeshire Tories backing as preferred choice for police and crime commissioner

PUBLISHED: 11:07 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:46 02 March 2020

Darryl Preston, is elected by the Conservative Party to be their candidate for Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Replacing Jason Ablewhite.. 
Whittlesey, Peterborough
Friday 28 February 2020. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

Darryl Preston, is elected by the Conservative Party to be their candidate for Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Replacing Jason Ablewhite.. Whittlesey, Peterborough Friday 28 February 2020. Picture by Terry Harris.

© Terry Harris

Darryl Preston of Ely, a little-known former detective, eclipsed the ambitious former Tory MP Stewart Jackson to win the Conservative nomination for May’s election for a new police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Cambridgeshire.

Darryl Preston, is elected by the Conservative Party to be their candidate for Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Replacing Jason Ablewhite.. 
Whittlesey, Peterborough
Friday 28 February 2020. 
Picture by Terry Harris.Darryl Preston, is elected by the Conservative Party to be their candidate for Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Replacing Jason Ablewhite.. Whittlesey, Peterborough Friday 28 February 2020. Picture by Terry Harris.

Widely tipped as the candidate most likely to succeed disgraced former PCC Jason Ablewhite, Tory party members meeting in Peterborough last night (Friday) opted for Mr Preston.

"People do not like him," was how one Conservative grandee who voted in Friday night's hustings assessed Mr Jackson.

Mr Preston may not have a high public profile, but he certainly has an idea of what he might expect if elected - he has spent the past two and a half years working for the organisation that advises the country's PCCs.

He said his campaign will focus on "reducing crime, addressing the root causes of crime and ensuring policing throughout the county is visible and accessible to members of the public".

Darryl Preston (centre, front) celebrating his adoption as the Tory choice for police and crime commissioner. He beat others, including Stewart Jackson, for the nomination by Conservatives on Friday. Picture; RWT PHOTOGRAPHYDarryl Preston (centre, front) celebrating his adoption as the Tory choice for police and crime commissioner. He beat others, including Stewart Jackson, for the nomination by Conservatives on Friday. Picture; RWT PHOTOGRAPHY

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He is currently senior policy manager with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) that was set up in 1997 to provide Information on policing policy issues and legislation.

Ironically it is the APCC that has been working with Cambridgeshire on re-structuring that would see the fire service come under the control of the PCC. Judicial review has halted the process.

Mr Preston says if elected he comes to the role with 30 years of policing experiencing at various levels.

Darryl Preston, is elected by the Conservative Party to be their candidate for Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Replacing Jason Ablewhite.. 
Whittlesey, Peterborough
Friday 28 February 2020. 
Picture by Terry Harris.Darryl Preston, is elected by the Conservative Party to be their candidate for Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Replacing Jason Ablewhite.. Whittlesey, Peterborough Friday 28 February 2020. Picture by Terry Harris.

Although he began his police career as a cadet in the Met, he worked for Cambridgeshire police as a detective for over 11 years from 1998. His CV speaks of "extensive experience in public protection, including investigation of serious/complex child abuse including homicides, management of ex- offenders and dangerous persons and online investigation".

He said: "Having spent my life working in law enforcement, I know how important this job is. Police and crime commissioners are responsible for our local policing, they control multimillion-pound budgets, set our local priorities for tackling crime and can hire and fire chief constables.

"People who live and work in our cities, towns and villages want to see a well-resourced police service dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour."


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