Tory Katy Bourne has started her job after voters chose her to be the county’s first Police and Crime Commisioner.
The Mid-Sussex councillor secured the post and the £85,000-a-year salary in one of the worst attended elections in modern history.
The Conservative won with a combined total of 80,028 votes following the second round of voting after she failed to secure 50 per cent of the first round votes.
A total of 123,236 votes were cast - with just 15.8 per cent of the county’s population turning out on November 15.
Mrs Bourne signed the Oath of Impartiality yesterday, officially making her one of 41 Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales (excluding London).
Lewes District Council leader, James Page, said: “I look forward to working with her to cut crime and ensure continued good policing and community safety across our district.”
The Police Commissioner role replaces the Sussex Police Authority and is responsible for overseeing the Chief Constable of the area and holding the force to account. Mrs Bourne is in control of Sussex Police’s £250million plus annual budget but begins the job with the force facing pressure to cut costs by around £50million before 2015.
The outgoing Sussex Police Authority chairman Steve Waigh said it was sad to see the Police Authority finish.
He said: “We have overseen drops in crime rates over the past seven years and this comes in a time of deep financial constraints.”
He added: “I wish Katy luck and I hope that she continues the good work of the Police Authority when she takes over.”
Mrs Bourne beat Labour hopeful Godfrey Daniel by 24.426 votes in the second round head-to-head contest. The second round was held after neither of the five candidates secured more than 50 per cent of the vote. In the first round Ian Chisnell (independent) was third with 38,930, Tony Armstong (UKIP) fourth with 29,327, David Rogers (Lib Dem), was fifth with 20,579 votes.