Following the Government’s decision to dissolve Police Authorities and replace them with a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for each of the 41 constabularies in England and Wales, the first PCC elections took place on 15 November 2012.
Stephen Bett was elected Norfolk’s first PCC, receiving a total of 39,988 votes, including second preference votes – 3,300 more than his closest opponent. Stephen stood in the election as an Independent, alongside candidates from the leading political parties.
Stephen was supported in his election campaign by Jenny McKibben, an independent member of the former Norfolk Police Authority with experience in partnership working and performance management. Jenny was chosen by Stephen to be his deputy.
A key element of Stephen’s election campaign was his pledge to Norfolk’s communities on which he said his success as PCC would be judged. This pledge later became the backbone of his Police and Crime Plan for Norfolk.
Before standing for election, Stephen had been involved in local government for over 35 years. Stephen’s first taste of local politics was in 1977 as a Parish Councillor on his local village council at Thornham in West Norfolk, on which he remained a member for 30 years.
In 1987, he was elected as a Conservative member of Norfolk County Council and was selected to represent the council on the Norfolk Police Authority in 1996. He was Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Police Authority, during which time he was actively involved in the overhaul of the county’s custody facilities and a major programme of collaboration realising significant cost-savings for Norfolk Police.
Stephen stood down from the Police Authority and Conservative party in September 2012 to enable him to stand as a PCC candidate, resigning from the County Council following his election.
Stephen was born and raised in a farming family in the area where he still farms. Stephen is married to Philippa and they have three children – two daughters and a son – and several dogs. Stephen is a keen sportsman enjoying country pursuits as well as many sports, including golf, tennis, rugby and hockey.
Before becoming Deputy PCC, Jenny was an Independent member of the former Norfolk Police Authority for eight years, also working as a management researcher and policy consultant and as a senior selection assessor for the National Police Improvement Agency.
She has taught at the University of Brighton, represented the public and patients on a number of boards, worked as a freelance journalist and as a publications editor for BBC Schools Radio.
Jenny has three adult children, lives in Norwich and loves open water swimming.