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.