Published Wednesday, 13th March 2024

The election will take place on 2 May at the same time as local elections in some boroughs and districts. There’s a few new changes voters need to be aware of.

This is the fourth time Surrey residents will go to the polling stations to vote for their Police and Crime Commissioner since the role was introduced across England and Wales in 2012.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) oversees how crime is tackled in the county and holds the police force to account on Surrey residents’ behalf to make sure they are providing an effective and efficient service. The Commissioner also works with the Chief Constable to set the overall direction for the force through the Police and Crime Plan, and proposes the amount of Council Tax that will go towards policing from Surrey residents. The PCC is elected every four years. Candidates will be announced on Monday 8 April 2024.

Mari Roberts-Wood, Managing Director at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, is the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) responsible for the PCC elections in Surrey this time, including ensuring they are run and promoted consistently across the county.

In some of the boroughs and districts, residents will also vote for local councillors, who decide on services at a local level including planning, parks, leisure and community centres, recycling and waste collection, housing and public health.

Mari Roberts-Wood, Managing Director at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “These elections are an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect your day-to-day life in your local area.”

“One of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s key responsibilities is to provide a link between the police and residents. This includes listening to feedback from the public on policing and crime reduction and pursuing improvements that can be made by or in partnership with Surrey Police”.

Deadline for registering to vote is 16 April

To vote on 2 May, residents must be registered by Tuesday 16 April. It’s only necessary to register once unless your details have changed – including name or address. Young people who have recently turned 18 need to register. It only takes a few minutes and can be done online at  

Another important thing for residents to remember is to bring a valid Voter ID/Photo ID to the polling station. This was introduced last year. A wider range of ID is accepted including a passport, driving license, disabled or older person’s Bus Pass funded by the UK Government, and a biometric immigration document. Residents without an accepted form of photo ID can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC).

New in 2024

Residents unable to vote in person on polling day can, as usual, apply for a postal or proxy vote (someone to vote on your behalf). But there are some changes to postal and proxy voting which came into force on 31 October 2023. For example, you now need to prove your identity when applying, there is a limit on the number of people for whom someone may act as a proxy, and you need to reapply for a postal vote after three years.

Eligble voters can now also apply online. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is by 5pm on Wednesday 17 April, and for a proxy vote it’s by 5pm on Wednesday 24 April.

This year PCC elections will also use the first past the post voting method rather than the supplementary voting system used in previous years. This means voters will vote for only one candidate as in other elections.

Finally, some residents may see the location of their polling station change due to boundary changes, so it’s really important voters check polling cards before going to vote.