CONSERVATIVE David Sidwick has been elected as the new police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Dorset.

The Bournemouth businessman was elected with almost 27,000 more votes than second-placed independent candidate Dan Hardy.

Speaking after Friday's count, he said it was now time to "walk the talk" and deliver on his promises to cut crime and antisocial behaviour.

The result was confirmed at Friday's count, held a day after the May 6 election.

Mr Sidwick will replace Martyn Underhill, the independent who had held the role since 2012, after he decided against standing for re-election.

Second preference votes were required to to decide between Mr Sidwick and Mr Hardy after neither managed to secure 50 per cent of the total first choices.

Green Party candidate Clare Seymour came in third place, followed by Liberal Democrat Mark Robson and the Labour Party candidate Patrick Canavan.

Mr Sidwick said he would "work tirelessly" to cut crime and anti-social behaviour and deliver on his pre-election pledges.

"This has been a long campaign but ultimately a fruitful one," he said. "I'm very humbled to have been chosen to take on this role.

"It's now up to me to walk the talk and tackle the issues we are seeing across the county head-on.

"I will improve the collaboration and co-operation between the office and MPs, councils and other organisations to make sure we deal with the issues that really matter to people."

Turnout was higher than the 2016 election at 25.52 per cent and he said more needed to be done to convince the public of the effectiveness of the role.

"The independent approach we've had to date has been to complain about the money we receive from government," he added "It's now my job to deliver actual improvements for the people of Dorset.

Previous independent PCC Martyn Underhill chose not to stand for re-election.

Fellow independent and former police officer Dan Hardy,  came second in the election which required the counting of second preferences,

The final total was: 

David Sidwick (Conservative): 70,353 (combined first and second preferences)

Dan Hardy (independent): 43,427 (combined first and second preferences)

Claire Seymour (Green): 21,283 (first preferences)

Mark Robson (Lib Dem): 17,837 (first preferences)

Patrick Canavan (Labour): 16,379 (first preferences)

Mr Sidwick will take up office on Thursday, May 13. 

Dorset Police Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “I would like to offer my heart felt congratulations to David Sidwick. My colleagues and I stand ready to support him in any way we can.

“We look forward to a productive relationship with our new PCC and will be ready to assist them in the development and delivery of a new Police and Crime Plan.”