Police commissioner Matthew Grove begins challenge of seeing 'less crime and fewer victims' in region
Crime reporter Jenna Thompson joins Humberside’s new police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove on his first weekend in the job
IT HAS been a whirlwind weekend for Matthew Grove.
Just a few weeks ago, he was a little-known East Riding councillor and building inspector.
Now, he is known nationwide as the man who ended Lord Prescott's aspirations after defeating the Labour veteran to become the first Humberside police and crime commissioner.
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"It really was like David going up against Goliath," says Conservative Mr Grove, who beat Lord Prescott by just over 2,200 votes.
"John Prescott is like a big beast of British politics. To see him lose was like seeing a great stag being shot, and it was sad."
He is speaking as he drives to Leeds ahead of an appearance on the BBC's Sunday Politics show.
Despite the emotions of Friday's election count at The Spa Bridlington, Mr Grove was up before 6am on Saturday, ready to start working.
He said: "The day of the count was a rollercoaster, not just for me, but for my family and my whole team, who have worked so hard.
"I was very worried that I might let them down. The tension was so great, even for my children.
"It was a hugely emotional experience, it was nail-biting stuff. As elections go, it was very exciting and it was anybody's to win.
"But that was just the warm-up for the main act, which is this hugely challenging job.
"I may have worn the party rosette for the campaign but, as soon as the result was announced, that comes off and it is about people first, party second.
"I always had a belief in the wisdom of the people of this area to choose the right person."
Although he does not officially take up the role until Thursday, Mr Grove has already started working.
With just a few months to prepare his first police and crime plan, he feels it is important to get started.
He spent Saturday meeting the Humberside Police Authority chief executive Kevin Sharp, sandwiched between interviews on national television and radio.
"There is no time to waste," he says.
"There is a massive amount of work to be done and there is no point waiting. As we speak, there are crimes being committed."
Today, he will be meeting the outgoing Chief Constable Tim Hollis – the man Mr Grove is now responsible for replacing when he retires in March.
Despite previously describing the role as a "job from hell", he is clearly excited about the challenge ahead, which comes with a salary of £75,000.
He said: "I am excited but I know there is a huge amount of responsibility on my shoulders.
"It is a huge step up for me. I feel like a Sunday league football player who has been asked to go in goal for Manchester United.
"Everything so far backs up what I have always said – that this is a full-time-plus job."
Because of the huge demands of his new role, he will soon be stepping down as the councillor for Mid Holderness and handing over the running of his business to someone else.
"This cannot be a part-time job," he said. "There will always be crime, and victims of crime, and I have to be able to look those victims in the eye and prove I am fully dedicated.
"I know I have to make the right decisions that will best protect the public of this area, without taking more money out of their pockets than they can afford."
For now, Mr Grove is based in the police authority's office on Hull's High Street but he is keen to relocate.
"I went into what is supposed to be my new office, which is an oak- panelled room with a huge fireplace, green leather chesterfields and a partner desk, and it immediately demonstrated why there needed to be a change," he says.
"It doesn't look like a working office or modern environment. It is something that belongs in another era, where decisions were made in smoke-filled rooms, in secret.
"The sooner we can move, the better. I would like to be as close to the Humber Bridge as possible, ideally sharing a building with another organisation."
Arriving at the BBC studios in central Leeds, Mr Grove meets the four commissioners selected in Lincolnshire, North, South and West Yorkshire for the first time.
On the show, all five are in agreement about supporting collaboration between police forces and opposing large-scale privatisation.
Later, on the journey back to his home in Withernwick, his wife Elaine calls, her voice coming through the car's hands-free system.
"We've just been watching you on the telly," she says.
"You looked a bit nervous, but what you said was really good."
Despite a busy first two days, Mr Grove is heading home for a couple of hours to relax.
"I think it's about time I saw my family," he says.
"It is going to be a busy few weeks and months. The diary is already starting to fill up, and there is so much to be getting on with and so many decisions to make.
"If I get it right, in three-and-a-half years' time, I will be rewarded by the voters. If not, it will be like a plane crash.
"What I want is simple – I want there to be less crime, fewer victims, and to have achieved that with less money being spent. It is getting there that is the challenge.
"The hard work starts now."