A well-known Denbighshire county councillor has announced he is to stand as an independent candidate in the May 6 election for North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.
Mark Young, who represents Denbigh and is the council's lead member for Safer Communities, Public Protection and Domestic abuse and chairs the Safer North Wales Partnership Board.
The father of one, who owns the Denbigh Chocolate Shop, is also is chair of a youth charity and a board member of the vale of Clwyd branch of the mental health charity MIND.
Back in 2015 he hit the national headlines when he patrolled the town centre of Denbigh on three consecutive nights after a spate of burglaries and vandalism.
As a result of his campaign, the then police and crime commissioner, Winston Roddick, requested a meeting with him to discuss how they could keep Denbigh safe.
It led to the setting up of a new partnership with North Wales Police which had a positive impact in reducing crime in the town.
Cllr Young said: “After working with the present commissioner, Arfon Jones, for a number of years, it would be an immense privilege to take on this role and carry on his positive work .
“As an independent police and crime commissioner, I would be able to serve the people unlike other candidates who would have to serve their political masters in Cardiff or Westminster – or both.
“I am the candidate who can keep the political parties out of running North Wales Police.
“Rather than being subservient to vested political interests, I will always put the people of North Wales first.”
His manifesto pledges include:
• Continue combating county lines drugs gangs, modern slavery and child exploitation whilst effectively working with neighbouring Police Forces in England and Wales
• Fighting cybercrime/fraud as a priority to support and keep children safe online – this will be more successful if we adopt a National approach
• Fully supporting visible community policing and being a visible and approachable police and crime commissioner
• Visiting and engaging with police officers of all levels and ranks to ensure North Wales Police is an effective and efficient force as well as appreciated
• Working with key partners to provide support for vulnerable people with mental health issues – Whilst appreciating the positive ongoing work in this area, I would like to see more resources and a long term commitment in place
• Committing to supporting and looking after the wellbeing of North Wales Police staff and ensuring that they feel valued especially with the increased challenging workload during covid-19
• Ensuring that victims of crime are fully supported and empowered to “speak up” and feel that justice has been delivered for them
• Encouraging improved equality and diversity in North Wales Police as it should reflect the community it wishes to serve
• Setting up and Chairing a North Wales Youth Engagement Group to give young people a voice and understand their concerns and views
• Trial Electric E bikes as a resource for officers allowing them to get to places which are difficult to get to in patrol cars. This will allow targeting of rural crime and at the same time offering more engagement with local communities.
Cllr Young added: “I have the knowledge, the understanding, the energy and the determination to be the next police and crime commissioner.
“I absolutely understand the role which is to support and professionally challenge when needed to get the best outcome for our communities.
“I will scrutinise the work of the force and hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure that North Wales Police operates at the optimum level to keep our communities safe across North Wales."