Conservative Roger Hirst has been announced as the new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Essex.

Mr Hirst will start his new role on Thursday (May 12) after he received 135,948 votes, beating Bob Spink of UKIP who took 103,792.

A second count was held after neither Mr Hirst nor Mr Spink emerged as clear winners from the first round, meaning voter’s second choices had to be counted.

The news was announced after results were collated from 14 councils around Essex.

In Epping Forest, 11,663 people picked Mr Hirst as their first choice, far ahead of Mr Spink who was only the favourite for 4,879 voters.

In the district, 26.7 per cent of registered voters had their say on the new PCC, slightly higher than the 26 per cent turnout countywide.

Mr Hirst was transport, planning and environment councillor for Essex County Council until February.

He is replacing fellow Conservative Nick Alston, who has overseen highly controversial station closures and the loss of officers and police community support officers (PCSOs).

Previously speaking to the Guardian, Mr Hirst said his five main focuses as PCC would be anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, street and gang violence, burglary and rural crime.

Speaking about his predecessor’s record, he said: “Nick has had to guide Essex Police through a difficult period, with extreme pressure on public sector finances.

“Against that background it is good to see that some crimes such as burglary are down strongly over the period of his incumbency, and most other forms of crime are down or held at a level.

“He has been very effective in promoting better partnership working, especially in relation to victim support.”

When asked if he supported the closure of police front desks in Epping and Loughton, he said visible police officers on patrol are more important.

He added: “The police station front desks have been little used by the public, and it will be better to have new community policing hubs, where residents can access the police in well-used town centre environments such as town halls and libraries.”