A RIBBLE Valley businessman has become the first candidate in the race to become Lancashire’s first high-ranking Police Commissioner.
Kevin Horkin says he intends to make the whole county “a safer place in which to live, work and play”
Significantly he is the first to officially declare that he will run for election later this year. The £85,000 a year top job of Police and Crime Commissioner is seen as an important way of reconnecting the police and the public.
Mr Horkin, who is a councillor on both Ribble Valley Borough Council and Clitheroe Town Council, has also confirmed that he is seeking the Conservative Party’s official nomination for the election in Lancashire.
“Law and order and the fear of crime affects every single one of us, regardless of our age, status and colour. My early announcement that I intend to stand for election reflects my clear determination and commitment to the new post,” said 49 year-old Mr Horkin, who lives near Waddington.
Across England and Wales the public will elect new Police and Crime Commissioners who will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their areas. PCCs will also hold Chief Constables and police forces to account; effectively making them answerable to the communities they serve.
“As Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner I would give the people across the county a voice. Through me every community will have their say on policing, law and order and crime,” added Mr Horkin.
“I am very fortunate to live in the Ribble Valley which has one of the lowest crime rates in the UK. Every citizen in Lancashire deserves to feel as safe and reassured as I do.”
Candidates who stand for election will each pay a non-returnable deposit of £5,000 and require 100 signatures of support. The elections will be held in November. Mr Horkin says a number of other potential candidates are waiting to see if they will get financial assistance and support from various local political groups before announcing if they will stand for election.
“They are still jockeying for position, waiting to hear if they will get backing before deciding if they are really interested in the job. For me the creation of Crime Commissioners is an important flagship policy and I intend to play a crucial role in future decision-making. I’m motivated by the desire to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and build on the success of Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Police Authority,” he said.
Mr Horkin has many years of experience in the public eye. As a 23-year-old he became one of Lancashire’s youngest councillors, representing the people of Hyndburn. From humble beginnings as a market trader he went on to become an entrepreneur and build a successful retail chain, with shops in North East Lancashire and North Yorkshire.
He is a lifelong charity supporter and was recently named Lancashire’s Community Philanthropist of the Year at The Spirit of Lancashire Awards.
As a local councillor he has revealed that crime and anti-social behaviour is at the top of his agenda, having spearheaded a campaign to introduce alcohol-free zones in the Ribble Valley.