CONSERVATIVE candidate Nick Alston has been chosen as Essex's first elected police and crime commissioner.

The 60-year-old took 62,350 votes in the second round of counting, with retired chief superintendent and independent candidate Mick Thwaites in second with 58,664.

He will take up his position - which will give him the power to set the force’s priorities, oversee its budget and hire its chief constable - on November 22.

Mr Alston also took the most votes in Epping Forest, receiving 4,285 votes and beating Labour candidate Val Morris-Cook.

Only 10 per cent of voters turned out in Epping Forest - just 10,221 out of an electorate of 98,862. Turnout across the county was just 13.06 per cent.

The new commissioner was born in Harwich and studied at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford and Cambridge University.

He is a former Royal Navy officer, has spent three decades working in national defence and security and worked for five years as security director for Goldman Sachs.

He now serves on the advisory board of the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London and is a director at Chelmsford's Broomfield Hospital.