Teen takes over top policing job

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A young volunteer has spent the day in the life of West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

Matthew Edington, 15, from Pontefract, asked to work with Mr Burns-Williamson as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge, which sees young people taking over top roles and sitting in the hot seat of influential jobs.

Matthew’s takeover saw him embark on a tour of the PCC’s office before meeting with the staff and discussing their roles.

Matthew also accompanied Mr Burns-Williamson to a meeting with his Independent Custody Visitors (ICV’s), who volunteer to check on the welfare of detained persons in custody, and the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Dee Collins.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “It was great to be able to offer this opportunity to Matthew and it was a really productive day. Youth engagement is crucial, young people have as much to offer as any other members of our communities and I will continue to take their views into account when making decisions.”

Matthew then joined Mr Burns-Williamson on a visit to St Mary’s Community Centre in Pontefract where he learned about residents’ policing and community safety needs.

Matthew said: “I wanted to learn more about the roles and responsibilities that Mr Burns-Williamson has. It was an interesting opportunity and I now have a better understanding of some of the different things that the PCC does to help the community.”

Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “It’s great to see Matthew taking such an interest in policing and what it involves at a senior level.”