Kent

Crash inquiry PCC Ann Barnes hails 'successful' year

Ann Barnes in Meet the Police Commissioner Image copyright PA
Image caption Ann Barnes said she had delivered on all her election promises

Kent's police boss has declared the second 12 months of her tenure "a very successful year indeed" despite controversies over her new youth commissioner and a TV documentary.

Ann Barnes, the £85,000-a-year Police and Crime Commissioner, said she had delivered all her election pledges.

She is also under investigation over a recent car crash.

But, Councillor Craig MacKinlay said the people of Kent "would give her a resounding one out of 10".

Mrs Barnes is currently being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over whether she was insured when she was involved in a road accident last year.

She outlined her view of the achievements made, during presentation of her annual report to Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel.

'Laughing stock'

Her report comes in the wake of her first youth commissioner, Paris Brown, resigning in April 2013 over comments posted on social media.

Ms Brown's replacement, Kerry Boyd, stopped doing public engagements in the summer after reports of a relationship with a married man - but Mrs Barnes praised her work, which was re-focused after the allegations were made.

Mrs Barnes went on to be accused of making Kent Police a "laughing stock" when she appeared in a Channel 4 TV documentary.

But she maintained there were a number of successes, including the appointment of new chief constable, Alan Pughsley, last January.

She said Mr Pughsley shares her vision of putting victims "at the heart of all that we do".

Image caption Mrs Barnes faced questioning from the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel on her annual report

And she said the public could now trust Kent Police's crime figures, whose accuracy had previously been criticised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Mr MacKinlay, who represents Medway Council's River ward, campaigned against Mrs Barnes during the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

'Spelling mistakes'

He told BBC Radio Kent she "lost" previous chief constable Ian Learmonth, who stood down after three-and-a-half years, she wasted lots of taxpayers money on an office move and made an "absolutely risible programme that made The Office look rather sensible".

"The elements of her being a retired primary school teacher are coming through very clearly in the annual report," Mr MacKinlay added.

"It was a self report that she's done for herself and given herself 10 out of 10.

"There's no red marks over it, even though there are a few spelling mistakes. I think the voting public and the taxpayers of Kent would give her a resounding one out of 10."

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