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Youth crime commissioner to be axed

Published 26/05/2015

Paris Brown had to stand down after being unveiled as the UK's first youth police and crime commissioner
Paris Brown had to stand down after being unveiled as the UK's first youth police and crime commissioner

A police and crime chief plans to scrap her controversial youth commissioner post following two appointments dogged by scandals.

Ann Barnes, Kent's elected police and crime commissioner (PCC), introduced the £15,000-a-year position to engage young people across the county on policing matters.

But her plans backfired when her first appointment, Paris Brown, then aged 17, resigned after making offensive comments on Twitter.

Miss Brown's replacement, former London 2012 torchbearer Kerry Boyd, was caught up in controversy over claims that she had a relationship with a married former councillor.

In a report to be considered next week, it has emerged that Mrs Barnes wants to replace the youth commissioner post with a newly-formed "Youth Advisory Group".

The report states that the youth commissioner role was a success but it was a "significant burden" for one person due to a "mischievous and vicious" press.

There was concern that "too often the press and others are quick to judge" and could place "an individual under intense scrutiny", the report added.

And there were also worries about the workload and how effective one person could be at representing the views of young people across Kent.

Under the new plans, Mrs Barnes will ring-fence £15,000 a year to enable the proposed Youth Advisory Group to fund projects and engage with vulnerable or "hard to reach" young people.

It is anticipated its first meeting will be in September, bringing together young people and representatives from a range of groups.

The Kent and Medway police and crime panel will meet to consider the proposal on June 2.

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