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End of the road for Kent Police's Youth Commissioner?

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent has announced that her controversial experiment of employing a young person as a youth commissioner will come to an end - for the time being at least. Ann Barnes made the post a manifesto commitment when she was first elected three years ago - but after two controversial appointments, appears to have decided, it's a trial NOT worth repeating. Her critics and political opponents have accused her of wasting public money. Andrea Thomas looks back on the controversial experiment and speaks to the former Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Craig Mackinlay.


New youth commissioner 'excited' by role

I’m really excited and I can’t wait to start. I’m really pleased that I have been offered this opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting out there to work with young people as soon as I can.

– Paris Brown, Kent Youth Commissioner

I’m delighted that Paris will be working alongside me to build a bridge between the world of young people and policing. This will be a hands on role and I’ll be relying on Paris to guide my Office on how we can deliver a better service for all young people in the county and tackle youth offending.

– Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

Sheerness teenager appointed youth commissioner

Paris Brown from Sheerness is the new Kent youth commissioner Credit: Office of Kent PCC

The first ever Youth Police and Crime Commissioner has been appointed in Kent.

16-year-old Paris Brown from Sheerness will work alongside the Police Commissioner, Ann Barnes, representing young people from across the county.

Paris was chosen from 164 applicants. She was educated at the Isle of Sheppey Academy and currently works for Swale Borough Council.

She enjoys community related projects and has also been involved in creating a skate park in Sittingbourne with a local skate group.

The Youth Commissioner post will last for a year with a package of £15,000 which will be part funded by Mrs Barnes' salary. Paris is expected to take up the role in the summer.


Police commissioner elections 'unfair'

Ann Barnes, who is running as an independent for the post of Police and Crime commissioner for Kent, has handed a letter into Number Ten claiming November's elections will be unfair.

She says independent candidates, who don't have the financial backing of a big political party are effectively being discriminated against.

It's because the government have decided no candidates will be entitled to free leaflet mailshots during the campaign - unlike at general election time.

She says the government are being hypocritical when they say they want strong, independent candidates to stand - but then deny them the chance to communicate with all the voters.

The government say a mailshot would be too expensive, and voters can get information from the home office website.

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