Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has accepted the West Midlands' new police and crime commissioner does not have a proper mandate on the back of a paltry by-election turnout.

Despite a victory for Labour candidate David Jamieson, Mr Balls told the Birmingham Post the 10.3 per cent turnout would have added to the public's scepticism of the role.

Labour opposed the role when it was brought in by the Coalition Government and sponsored a commission which last year called for it to be scrapped.

Shadow police minister Jack Dromey is currently consulting over whether Labour would abolish the role and told the Post it was at "advanced stages".

Mr Balls said: "Police and crime commissioners only work if they have a mandate and nobody can seriously claim that a 10 per cent turnout is a good mandate.

"We don't want to go backwards on accountability but, after putting all of this in the hands of one person, there is a growing view that the public are sceptical."

Former MP Mr Jamieson showed the power of the post last week when he announced plans to have speed cameras across the region switched back on.

And he secured more than 50 per cent of the vote, proving a popular selection to replace Labour's Bob Jones after he died.

However, after a record low turnout, which dipped from 12 per cent in the first PCC by-election, much of the commentary on the election has focused on public apathy.

The by-election cost £3.7 million to stage, with more than 1,200 polling booths set up across the region.

It means each vote cost £18 to gather and count, with about 200,000 of the area's two million adults taking part.

Mr Balls said that while he was pleased Mr Jamieson won, and believed it vindicated Mr Jones's efforts in the role, the fact a Labour candidate succeeded did not make it harder to consider scrapping the role.

He said: "We are not in politics to give people a job and a salary. If you are lucky enough to get someone who is doing the job well that is OK but it is whether the role makes sense.

"We opposed this because we were worried about putting all the police accountability with one person and confusing the relationship with the chief constable.

"The fear was always that turnout would be low – and that has been more than realised."

Labour is currently working up its plans for PCCs and sponsored a review by ex-Met police commissioner Lord Stevens who said they should be scrapped in 2016 and more power given to local councillors and local authorities.

The review also recommends that some police forces are merged.

Shadow police minister Mr Dromey is currently visiting 50 towns and cities across the country to consult over Labour's plans for PCCs.