Kent youth PCC Paris Brown apologises over 'inappropriate' tweets
- 7 April 2013
- From the section Kent
A teenager who became Britain's first youth police and crime commissioner (PCC) has apologised for her "inappropriate" comments on Twitter.
Paris Brown, 17, was appointed to work alongside Kent's Independent PCC Ann Barnes representing young people across the county last week.
Paris said she was "wildly exaggerating" in what could have been considered racist and anti-gay tweets.
Ms Barnes said Paris would "learn quickly from this".
The Mail on Sunday reported Paris boasted about her sex life, drug taking and drinking on her account @vilulabelle on the social networking website.
The Twitter page has since been removed.
Paris has apologised and told the BBC the comments, posted between the ages of 14 and 16, had been "misinterpreted".
"All teenagers make mistakes, all teenagers think at one point 'oh I'm annoyed, write something stupid'… it's an age thing," she said.
'Stupid' and 'immoral'
Paris said she thought she was "definitely up to the job".
"I don't think that a few stupid, immoral tweets which I admit can be taken horrifically offensively but were not meant at all to offend anyone," she said.
"I don't think they should shape my future and my career and how I'm going to represent young people."
In a statement, Paris said she was "not homophobic, racist or violent and am against the taking of drugs".
She will take up the post of youth PPC in July or August, after her apprenticeship.
Nicholas Rogers, a Conservative councillor in Kent, tweeted: "@AnnBarnesKPCC's plan to throw a teen into a vicious political environment was naïve.
"Sad, but Youth PCC should resign and post scrapped."
He tweeted Ms Barnes' youth PCC plan had "gone badly wrong, throwing her judgement into question and damaging a young persons's future".
In another tweet, he added: "Naive to throw a teen into robust political environment. Youth PCC nice bit of PR but ended in tears."
'She's not hiding'
Ms Barnes said of Paris's tweets: "They are awful, they are dreadful, there's no getting away from that. But Paris is learning very quickly and maturing into a very sensible young woman.
"She's not hiding behind what she's done. She's here after being plastered over the front of the Mail on Sunday in quite a vitriolic report.
"There aren't many people I know who would face the country's media and I take my hat off to her for doing it."
The PCC said she did not think she had made a mistake by appointing Paris, who went through a "proper recruitment process" and vetting by the force.
Earlier in a statement Ms Barnes said Paris would "learn quickly from this".
The appointment of a youth PCC was one of Ms Barnes's main manifesto pledges in the campaign ahead of her election as Kent's first PCC in November.
She said the youth PCC would receive £15,000 for the year, part-funded from her own £85,000 salary.