PCC Ann Barnes promises Paris Brown successor by Christmas

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes says her replacement youth commissioner will be "street savvy"

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Kent's police and crime commissioner, Ann Barnes, says she intends to appoint a new youth commissioner by Christmas.

The previous appointee, Paris Brown, resigned in April before starting the role, following criticism of comments she had made on Twitter.

But after an independent report ruled that the recruitment process was "robust and well run", Ms Barnes is determined to appoint a replacement.

And she is promising "care and support" for the successful candidate.

Miss Brown, who was appointed Kent's first youth crime commissioner at the age of 16, stood down after nearly a week of controversy following revelations of comments she had posted on Twitter when she was younger.

'Racist and homophobic'

She said she had been "wildly exaggerating" when posting tweets about her sex life, drug taking and drinking.

But she quit after police investigated complaints that some of her comments had been racist and homophobic.

No action was taken and the posts were deleted.

A report by the University of Lancashire, published on 4 October, concluded the recruitment selection process had "exceeded the high standards expected of any public body" and that the vetting checks matched those used by Kent Police.

'Final fence'

And although it acknowledged that social media checks were not carried out, it questioned how effective they might have been anyway.

After questioning by the county's police and crime panel, Ms Barnes said: "It failed at the last fence because the social networking vetting wasn't done.

"The rest of it was fine - which is good because it means that when I come to recruit again, which I'm going to start fairly soon, I do know there's a robust process in place."

She said the new appointee for the £15,000-a-year post would be in position by Christmas and that candidates' social-media backgrounds would be scrutinised.

Ms Barnes said she was not looking for an "angel" but someone who was "street-savvy".

"There will be a support network around this person."

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