Newly-returned Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is prepared for a busy four years after retaining the role in this year's election.

Mr Passmore was re-elected to the post that he first won in 2012 by a comfortable majority despite the Conservative Party's national problems.

He admitted he had been pleasantly surprised by the margin of his victory - nearly 12,000 votes - despite a strong Labour candidate, former Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales.

He said: "I was rather surprised by the margin, quite humbled really. I like to think that the voters approved of what I have been doing - but the work goes on."

East Anglian Daily Times: Tim Passmore signed on for his fourth term as Police and Crime Commissioner on Friday.Tim Passmore signed on for his fourth term as Police and Crime Commissioner on Friday. (Image: Shikhar Talwar)

Mr Passmore is now one of only two PCCs in the country who were first elected when the posts were first created in late 2012 - and he felt that his longevity in the post had helped to cement his position when Conservatives elsewhere had been defeated.

The Labour candidate won the PCC election in Norfolk - but there a different candidate has been elected every time. In Suffolk Mr Passmore has become the face of the PCC role.

There is still confusion among some people about the roles of the PCC and Chief Constable but he does feel his work is starting to gain more understanding.

He said: "I'm not the police chief - I don't make decisions about how many police go out on the streets for any particular incident and some people don't really understand that, but I think more are coming to know what my role setting the framework for policing is."

And despite some of the claims during the election campaign, Mr Passmore insists that his office offers good value to council taxpayers.

He said: "The police need some oversight. During the last year before this office was created (2011/12) the cost of providing oversight once you'd taken into account all the councillors' allowances and the administration was £1.3m.

"This last year the total cost has been fractionally over £1m - and you know what inflation has been like. So I think it's a good deal."

Over recent years Mr Passmore has regularly criticised the Home Office for under-funding Suffolk Police when its budget is compared with similar local authorities across the country.

He said: "I've always made it clear that I would put the needs of Suffolk first in any discussions with the government - and that will not change.

"I know rural Suffolk well and I'm also aware of the needs of Ipswich and the other large towns and I think people know that."

He will continue to press Suffolk's case in meetings with ministers - and is aware there could be a very different ministerial team at the Home Office by the end of the year.

He said: "Whoever I'm dealing with, it will be the needs of Suffolk that is most important to me in my discussions."

Mr Passmore was concerned about the low turnout - across Suffolk only 23% of voters took part. 

In Ipswich, where there were also borough council elections, the figure was higher at 31% - but across the rest of the county, only one in five voters voted in the election.

The results for the police and crime commissioner were as follows:

Tim Passmore, Conservative: 52,968

Sir Robin Wales, Labour: 41,754

Rachel Smith-Lyte, Green: 22,471

James Sandbach, Liberal Democrats: 14,559

Turnout 22.9%