BLACKPOOL’S youngest councillor says youth is no barrier to him bidding to run Lancashire’s police service.
Chris Maughan, 22, is seeking the Labour party nomination to fight for the role of police and crime commissioner for the county.
If he succeeds in securing the top job, the former York University student’s responsibilities would include appointing the chief constable, deciding the policing budget and setting out priorities for Lancashire’s crime-fighters.
Labour is expected to choose its candidate in June, who would then campaign against other contenders ahead of the elections on November 15.
Elections are being held for the first elected commissioners for all 41 police forces in England and Wales.
The new roles – which come with pay of between £85,000 and £100,000 a year – will replace existing police authorities.
Coun Maughan, who has been Blackpool’s representative on the Lancashire Police Authority since he was elected to the council last year, said he believes more partnership working is the way to “open the door” on hidden crimes such as domestic violence and child exploitation. Click here to register with The Gazette website to enable you to comment on stories.
He said: “An integrated public service and a cross sector approach is the way we need to go because the police cannot do it alone.
“They need to work with social services, local authorities, housing agencies and even employers.
“The new police and crime commissioner’s role will not just be a case of sitting down with the chief constable, it is about working with the justice system in its entirety from education right through to offender management.”
And he said his age was not a consideration when looking at the role.
He added: “I have worked for a year with the police authority and in local government and have learned a lot, from being on licensing to chairing the scrutiny committee, and I have taken it all in my stride.
“I also bring a fresher approach and can look at solutions more innovatively.”
Coun Maughan says his experience from living and working in Blackpool will also put him in good stead, while he hopes to instill a new culture of community involvement.
He said: “I think we should be looking at using civilian roles like PCSOs, volunteers and specials.
“By working with partners, everyone will benefit from the reduction in crime.”