Maverick enters race to become police chief

The Oxford Times: Martin Young Martin Young

A GUN collector with a criminal record is vying to become the region’s first elected police commissioner.

Martin Young, 67, from Headington Hill, intends to run for the role of Thames Valley Police Commissioner as an independent candidate.

He said he will stand for the November election after seeing how the justice system works first hand.

The property owner pleaded guilty to a public order offence in 2008 when in a dispute over his Old High Street property he told a council officer over the phone: “I am armed, blood will be spilt.”

He got a two-year conditional discharge and police seized his collection of more than 350 antique guns and took his firearms licence.

Last night he said: “I feel strongly about issues of justice, not just because they have jumped out of the grass and hit me on the nose, but I do, I just do.

“I have had to bother to learn the law because of my situation and I like it and I suit it.

“The more I learn the more I realise how many corners are cut across the way and people do suffer pretty rough justice and injustice.”


The police and crime commissioner will have control over police numbers, strategies and how council tax is spent on policing.

Despite his offence Mr Young is entitled to stand.


Last month Tory hopeful Keiron Mallon, who has a conviction for assault, stood down from the race after discovering Home Office rules disqualify those guilty of an offence that could result in prison.

Mr Young said his conviction should not cause his campaign a problem, adding: “I pleaded guilty and paid the penalty.

“You get found guilty or you plead guilty, you take the rap, you mend your ways. It doesn’t mean you are condemned forever.”

To run Mr Young needs a £5,000 deposit and 100 signatures from anyone on the electoral register.

He said: “If you believe in something you do it.”

When asked about his chances he said: “It’s worth a shot. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.”

He said he wanted to put more money into ordinary crime prevention.

He added: “I would try to make sure the police responded to the aspirations, wishes, desires and needs of the silent majority of the local population.”


But Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council, said: “He is unlikely to be a strong candidate given his background of conflict with the law.”

David Rundle, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Headington, said: “It’s a delight to see the full range of democratic possibilities being placed before the electorate.”

Andy Viney, secretary of the Thames Valley Police Federation, said: “Whether or not a candidate is eligible is for the Home Office to decide and outside of that it will be a judgement of the public of Thames Valley at the ballot box.”

But he added: “It is going to be difficult for any one individual to appeal to such a wide and diverse electorate.”

The new Conservative candidate is Anthony Stansfeld, a councillor from West Berkshire, and Labour has selected Amersham barrister Tim Starkey.

The Lib Dems hope to select their candidate next month and the Greens are not entering over cost concerns.

The Home Office confirmed only an imprisonable offence would exclude people from standing.

 

  • Martin Young has fought Oxford City Council over its move to allow Oxford Brookes University to build a new campus.

     

    He has also tried to create his own private rubbish tip in Littlemore. And he got the city council fined after it illegally crushed his car.

    He is currently funding a tenants’ legal challenge to take over a house in Warnborough Road, North Oxford.
     

Comments (16)

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12:34pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Give me strength, is there no end to this man's escape from reality?
Give me strength, is there no end to this man's escape from reality? Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Tue 17 Jul 12

MadMan-JaYmZ says...

nobody would voe this idiot in, he may as-well save the embarrassment !
nobody would voe this idiot in, he may as-well save the embarrassment ! MadMan-JaYmZ
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

So a parent who visits a Cub/Scout camp needs a clean CRB check...

But someone elected to be an Independent Police Commissioner doesn't need a clean CRB check...

Perhaps a little bit imbalance there?

(In a spirit of open-ness my enhanced CRB check is completely clean if anyone is wondering)...
So a parent who visits a Cub/Scout camp needs a clean CRB check... But someone elected to be an Independent Police Commissioner doesn't need a clean CRB check... Perhaps a little bit imbalance there? (In a spirit of open-ness my enhanced CRB check is completely clean if anyone is wondering)... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Tue 17 Jul 12

iklhik says...

No-one needs a CRB check to visit a Scout Camp. They need it if they are going to be left alone with children. It's to protect the children, not the adult.

If people want to embarrass themselves then they should be able to.
No-one needs a CRB check to visit a Scout Camp. They need it if they are going to be left alone with children. It's to protect the children, not the adult. If people want to embarrass themselves then they should be able to. iklhik
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

iklhik wrote:
No-one needs a CRB check to visit a Scout Camp. They need it if they are going to be left alone with children. It's to protect the children, not the adult.

If people want to embarrass themselves then they should be able to.
Anyone who is at risk of engaging in unsupervised access to a YP (young person) at camp must be CRB checked.

That's why, according to the Scout Association, they undertake over 60,000 CRB checks every year...
[quote][p][bold]iklhik[/bold] wrote: No-one needs a CRB check to visit a Scout Camp. They need it if they are going to be left alone with children. It's to protect the children, not the adult. If people want to embarrass themselves then they should be able to.[/p][/quote]Anyone who is at risk of engaging in unsupervised access to a YP (young person) at camp must be CRB checked. That's why, according to the Scout Association, they undertake over 60,000 CRB checks every year... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

10:55am Wed 18 Jul 12

John Lamb says...

As my old nan used to say: "Never trust a man in a corduroy jacket." This guy's action seem very reminiscent of the guy who shot the planning officer many years ago.
As my old nan used to say: "Never trust a man in a corduroy jacket." This guy's action seem very reminiscent of the guy who shot the planning officer many years ago. John Lamb
  • Score: 0

11:44am Wed 18 Jul 12

Man on the Green says...

So the choice in the Thames Valley is between this rather eccentric but certainly independent minded gentleman and a bunch of party political animals who will turn policing into yet another political football to be kicked around between them, whilst the poor old public forks out ever larger sums to fund their whims and egos.

Surely what we really need is someone who has no axe to grind, and who will enjoy support from all communities and none, because they are seen as genuinely independent and want simply to ensure that the police are genuinely held accountable in their 'local' force areas?

We politicise policing at our peril.
So the choice in the Thames Valley is between this rather eccentric but certainly independent minded gentleman and a bunch of party political animals who will turn policing into yet another political football to be kicked around between them, whilst the poor old public forks out ever larger sums to fund their whims and egos. Surely what we really need is someone who has no axe to grind, and who will enjoy support from all communities and none, because they are seen as genuinely independent and want simply to ensure that the police are genuinely held accountable in their 'local' force areas? We politicise policing at our peril. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Man on the Green wrote:
So the choice in the Thames Valley is between this rather eccentric but certainly independent minded gentleman and a bunch of party political animals who will turn policing into yet another political football to be kicked around between them, whilst the poor old public forks out ever larger sums to fund their whims and egos.

Surely what we really need is someone who has no axe to grind, and who will enjoy support from all communities and none, because they are seen as genuinely independent and want simply to ensure that the police are genuinely held accountable in their 'local' force areas?

We politicise policing at our peril.
Richard Branson? Jeremy Clarkson? Either would get my vote :-)
[quote][p][bold]Man on the Green[/bold] wrote: So the choice in the Thames Valley is between this rather eccentric but certainly independent minded gentleman and a bunch of party political animals who will turn policing into yet another political football to be kicked around between them, whilst the poor old public forks out ever larger sums to fund their whims and egos. Surely what we really need is someone who has no axe to grind, and who will enjoy support from all communities and none, because they are seen as genuinely independent and want simply to ensure that the police are genuinely held accountable in their 'local' force areas? We politicise policing at our peril.[/p][/quote]Richard Branson? Jeremy Clarkson? Either would get my vote :-) Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Man on the Green says...

Neither would want the job or the responsibilities that come with it, but actually - though I'm not a great petrol head and take issue with JC on many issues - I have to admit that I'd probably rather see him or RB (another maverick) occupy the post than any of those named to date.

Let's not forget just how great the responsibility is that we're entrusting to this paid politician; he or she will have the power inter alia to sack the Chief Constable.

Now, you may have views about the appropriateness of some of her policing decisions (such as her predilection for out of court disposals for even very serious offences: child **** and violence against the person, including sexual violence, to give but a couple of examples), but if she is going to have her arm twisted in the way that successive Met Police Commissioners have, then we have reason to be very alarmed. She can and should be responsive to the will of parliament (as over knife crime, say), but she - like every other constable - has sworn an oath or 'attestation' to "serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people", and should not be held to ransom by some self-serving politico over her policing decisions.

What I'd like to see a PCC check up on is that all officers in the Thames Valley meet that high standard. And what I really don't want is to see a PCC using their influence and position to try and get their party mates off the hook, be that with Leveson or the banking enquiry, or trying to work out ways of hiving off front line policing to their private sector chums in return for a suitable kickback. Haven't we had enough of that in local and national government from both the big parties?
Neither would want the job or the responsibilities that come with it, but actually - though I'm not a great petrol head and take issue with JC on many issues - I have to admit that I'd probably rather see him or RB (another maverick) occupy the post than any of those named to date. Let's not forget just how great the responsibility is that we're entrusting to this paid politician; he or she will have the power inter alia to sack the Chief Constable. Now, you may have views about the appropriateness of some of her policing decisions (such as her predilection for out of court disposals for even very serious offences: child **** and violence against the person, including sexual violence, to give but a couple of examples), but if she is going to have her arm twisted in the way that successive Met Police Commissioners have, then we have reason to be very alarmed. She can and should be responsive to the will of parliament (as over knife crime, say), but she - like every other constable - has sworn an oath or 'attestation' to "serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people", and should not be held to ransom by some self-serving politico over her policing decisions. What I'd like to see a PCC check up on is that all officers in the Thames Valley meet that high standard. And what I really don't want is to see a PCC using their influence and position to try and get their party mates off the hook, be that with Leveson or the banking enquiry, or trying to work out ways of hiving off front line policing to their private sector chums in return for a suitable kickback. Haven't we had enough of that in local and national government from both the big parties? Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Tim Starkey. says...

To make the case for party political candidates: 1) You have a better idea what they stand for 2) Some sort of vetting process will have gone on before they are unleashed on the public 3) I have a huge pool of expertise to draw on in the Labour party including former chief constables, prison governors, senior probation officers etc in putting forward serious, considered policies.
Independent candidates will end up being just as political - it will just be harder to know what they stand for. My background is not as a professional politician - I've never earned a penny from politics but have worked for 11 years as a barrister in the criminal justice system. It's that experience that made me want to be the Labour candidate.
To make the case for party political candidates: 1) You have a better idea what they stand for 2) Some sort of vetting process will have gone on before they are unleashed on the public 3) I have a huge pool of expertise to draw on in the Labour party including former chief constables, prison governors, senior probation officers etc in putting forward serious, considered policies. Independent candidates will end up being just as political - it will just be harder to know what they stand for. My background is not as a professional politician - I've never earned a penny from politics but have worked for 11 years as a barrister in the criminal justice system. It's that experience that made me want to be the Labour candidate. Tim Starkey.
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Tim Starkey. says...

Man on the Green wrote:
Neither would want the job or the responsibilities that come with it, but actually - though I'm not a great petrol head and take issue with JC on many issues - I have to admit that I'd probably rather see him or RB (another maverick) occupy the post than any of those named to date.

Let's not forget just how great the responsibility is that we're entrusting to this paid politician; he or she will have the power inter alia to sack the Chief Constable.

Now, you may have views about the appropriateness of some of her policing decisions (such as her predilection for out of court disposals for even very serious offences: child **** and violence against the person, including sexual violence, to give but a couple of examples), but if she is going to have her arm twisted in the way that successive Met Police Commissioners have, then we have reason to be very alarmed. She can and should be responsive to the will of parliament (as over knife crime, say), but she - like every other constable - has sworn an oath or 'attestation' to "serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people", and should not be held to ransom by some self-serving politico over her policing decisions.

What I'd like to see a PCC check up on is that all officers in the Thames Valley meet that high standard. And what I really don't want is to see a PCC using their influence and position to try and get their party mates off the hook, be that with Leveson or the banking enquiry, or trying to work out ways of hiving off front line policing to their private sector chums in return for a suitable kickback. Haven't we had enough of that in local and national government from both the big parties?
My view of the role is this: PCCs can bring democratic accountability to the decisions that are already political such as deciding how much of your council tax is spent on policing and setting police numbers. Operational decisions, who to arrest and who to investigate, must never be interfered with by the PCC or any other politician.
[quote][p][bold]Man on the Green[/bold] wrote: Neither would want the job or the responsibilities that come with it, but actually - though I'm not a great petrol head and take issue with JC on many issues - I have to admit that I'd probably rather see him or RB (another maverick) occupy the post than any of those named to date. Let's not forget just how great the responsibility is that we're entrusting to this paid politician; he or she will have the power inter alia to sack the Chief Constable. Now, you may have views about the appropriateness of some of her policing decisions (such as her predilection for out of court disposals for even very serious offences: child **** and violence against the person, including sexual violence, to give but a couple of examples), but if she is going to have her arm twisted in the way that successive Met Police Commissioners have, then we have reason to be very alarmed. She can and should be responsive to the will of parliament (as over knife crime, say), but she - like every other constable - has sworn an oath or 'attestation' to "serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people", and should not be held to ransom by some self-serving politico over her policing decisions. What I'd like to see a PCC check up on is that all officers in the Thames Valley meet that high standard. And what I really don't want is to see a PCC using their influence and position to try and get their party mates off the hook, be that with Leveson or the banking enquiry, or trying to work out ways of hiving off front line policing to their private sector chums in return for a suitable kickback. Haven't we had enough of that in local and national government from both the big parties?[/p][/quote]My view of the role is this: PCCs can bring democratic accountability to the decisions that are already political such as deciding how much of your council tax is spent on policing and setting police numbers. Operational decisions, who to arrest and who to investigate, must never be interfered with by the PCC or any other politician. Tim Starkey.
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Man on the Green says...

Firstly, thank you for taking the trouble to reply so constructively, Tim. A good sign!

Policing is difficult enough at the best of times, but if in the present context a Labour PCC is pushing his/her Chief Constable to pursue policies that run counter to government dogma (say they want to try and restore local policing, or eschew faddish initiatives such as Neighbourhood Resolution Panels in favour of proper "restorative justice" - in which the Thames Valley, starting with a previous Chief Constable - has a long and proud record), and is dependent on getting funding from mainly Conservative controlled local authorities, isn't that going to be a real source of conflict?

It's bad enough that parties indulge in political posturing over "law and order" (each promising when in opposition to ensure that health related issues are addressed by the health service, including substance abuse, mental health issues, PTSD in servicemen and women etc., but each adopting knee-jerk "responses" to popular press pressure when in power), but until now police chiefs have mainly managed to avoid becoming caught up in the mud-slinging and inevitable polarisation that accompanies the overt politicisation of any public service (be that the armed forces or the health service).

In a police authority, the "power-hungry" could be contained, not so with PCCs.

My greatest fear, apart from the fact that the role of PCC will simply give people like John Prescott a new opportunity to bleed the public purse, indulge their egos, get driven round in fast cars, and pander to populist propaganda, is that by politicising policing in this way, there will be further loss of public confidence in the police, and this will only serve to alienate the disaffected and exacerbate the social cleavages that exist.

The criminal justice system works - largely - because it enjoys public consent (even when they get a speeding fine, people generally accept that this is "fair").

If we - the public at large - begin to feel that we are becoming playthings in the sort of schoolyard squabbling that characterises so much political discourse, we may well start to question the impartiality of the whole system (I was pleased to learn that judges are excluded from applying to stand as PCCs, at the request of the judiciary itself - they at least are aware of how precious their independence is).
Firstly, thank you for taking the trouble to reply so constructively, Tim. A good sign! Policing is difficult enough at the best of times, but if in the present context a Labour PCC is pushing his/her Chief Constable to pursue policies that run counter to government dogma (say they want to try and restore local policing, or eschew faddish initiatives such as Neighbourhood Resolution Panels in favour of proper "restorative justice" - in which the Thames Valley, starting with a previous Chief Constable - has a long and proud record), and is dependent on getting funding from mainly Conservative controlled local authorities, isn't that going to be a real source of conflict? It's bad enough that parties indulge in political posturing over "law and order" (each promising when in opposition to ensure that health related issues are addressed by the health service, including substance abuse, mental health issues, PTSD in servicemen and women etc., but each adopting knee-jerk "responses" to popular press pressure when in power), but until now police chiefs have mainly managed to avoid becoming caught up in the mud-slinging and inevitable polarisation that accompanies the overt politicisation of any public service (be that the armed forces or the health service). In a police authority, the "power-hungry" could be contained, not so with PCCs. My greatest fear, apart from the fact that the role of PCC will simply give people like John Prescott a new opportunity to bleed the public purse, indulge their egos, get driven round in fast cars, and pander to populist propaganda, is that by politicising policing in this way, there will be further loss of public confidence in the police, and this will only serve to alienate the disaffected and exacerbate the social cleavages that exist. The criminal justice system works - largely - because it enjoys public consent (even when they get a speeding fine, people generally accept that this is "fair"). If we - the public at large - begin to feel that we are becoming playthings in the sort of schoolyard squabbling that characterises so much political discourse, we may well start to question the impartiality of the whole system (I was pleased to learn that judges are excluded from applying to stand as PCCs, at the request of the judiciary itself - they at least are aware of how precious their independence is). Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Tim Starkey. says...

The concerns you raise are valid. Labour would not have introduced Police Commissioners in this way precisely because we are worried about handing too much power to one person. However, now the role is being introduced I believe that the responsible thing to do is get involved and make the role a force for good. If I can do that, and bring some democratic control to policing, then the change might just increase public confidence in the police.

In terms of finance I would not be dependent on Tory councils for cash. I would determine the level of the precept, which would come directly to the police, although paid by you as part of your council tax. Local councils will have no control over that.

Finally, it's worth noting that this is one of the weaker forms of party politics around. Unlike an MP I won't be answerable to party whips, only the electorate. As everyone who knows me would testify, I'm not a party apparatchik, but very much my own man.
The concerns you raise are valid. Labour would not have introduced Police Commissioners in this way precisely because we are worried about handing too much power to one person. However, now the role is being introduced I believe that the responsible thing to do is get involved and make the role a force for good. If I can do that, and bring some democratic control to policing, then the change might just increase public confidence in the police. In terms of finance I would not be dependent on Tory councils for cash. I would determine the level of the precept, which would come directly to the police, although paid by you as part of your council tax. Local councils will have no control over that. Finally, it's worth noting that this is one of the weaker forms of party politics around. Unlike an MP I won't be answerable to party whips, only the electorate. As everyone who knows me would testify, I'm not a party apparatchik, but very much my own man. Tim Starkey.
  • Score: 0

10:55pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Man on the Green says...

Many very fair points - and again, thank you. I shan't prolong what risks becoming a dialogue (albeit an exceptionally civilised one for an online forum!) that may not interest other readers, and am greatly reassured by your explanations. It is very promising to know that our prospective PCC is so open to public challenge, discussion and real debate.

P.S. Local authorities do still hold the purse strings for youth offending teams, for example, and we saw what happened when Oxfordshire County Council decided - for largely ideological reasons - to pull the plug on road safety camera funding.

The County also controls the ANPR cameras around Oxford, and the Districts the CCTV cameras in town centres etc., which they regularly threaten to close down as a bargaining chip. So things may not be quite as simple as determining the level of the police precept...
Many very fair points - and again, thank you. I shan't prolong what risks becoming a dialogue (albeit an exceptionally civilised one for an online forum!) that may not interest other readers, and am greatly reassured by your explanations. It is very promising to know that our prospective PCC is so open to public challenge, discussion and real debate. P.S. Local authorities do still hold the purse strings for youth offending teams, for example, and we saw what happened when Oxfordshire County Council decided - for largely ideological reasons - to pull the plug on road safety camera funding. The County also controls the ANPR cameras around Oxford, and the Districts the CCTV cameras in town centres etc., which they regularly threaten to close down as a bargaining chip. So things may not be quite as simple as determining the level of the police precept... Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

What a surprise......
http://www.oxfordmai
l.co.uk/news/9824499
.New_plans_for_derel
ict_Headington_home/
?ref=la
Now he's all for renovating the house that he's been against renovating for so long, I wonder if he's hoping that'll get him a few votes.
What a surprise...... http://www.oxfordmai l.co.uk/news/9824499 .New_plans_for_derel ict_Headington_home/ ?ref=la Now he's all for renovating the house that he's been against renovating for so long, I wonder if he's hoping that'll get him a few votes. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

10:55am Fri 20 Jul 12

Man on the Green says...

Question to Newsquest: When are we going to get such in-depth analyses on the other declared candidates?

This is a crucial function, and one the public doesn't really seem to have woken up to yet. Let's have some proper assessment of what it might mean for us in the Thames Valley, and hear from each of the candidates.

This article makes me think that you're (deliberately?) exhausting or 'using up lines' in your coverage of the 'maverick', but keeping your powder dry on the other candidates. Balance needs to be maintained throughout the campaign.
Question to Newsquest: When are we going to get such in-depth analyses on the other declared candidates? This is a crucial function, and one the public doesn't really seem to have woken up to yet. Let's have some proper assessment of what it might mean for us in the Thames Valley, and hear from each of the candidates. This article makes me think that you're (deliberately?) exhausting or 'using up lines' in your coverage of the 'maverick', but keeping your powder dry on the other candidates. Balance needs to be maintained throughout the campaign. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

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