Kent

Kent PCC Ann Barnes 'proud of achievements'

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Media captionAnn Barnes said she was proud of her record

Kent's outgoing high-profile police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said she is proud of her achievements four years after being elected.

Ann Barnes dealt with an "ill-advised" TV documentary, a probe into her car insurance, and youth commissioners who both had to step away from their role.

But she said she judged her time as PCC as a success.

She said Kent Police was now target-free, provided quality service and put victims at the heart of its work.

"Apart from one or two things I'd rather not have happened, I've really, really had a good time," she said.

Referring to incidents that led to adverse headlines, she said: "You have to accept what life throws at you and deal with it."

Mrs Barnes, who is not standing for re-election, said the Kent force was recognised nationally after latest HMIC reports.

"[Kent Police] genuinely puts victims at the heart of what it does. There are no targets, people don't chase targets. They just look to do a quality service," she said.

On her youth commissioner appointments, Mrs Barnes said: "You can't interview for the unexpected."

Kent's first youth commissioner Paris Brown resigned over comments she had posted on Twitter, and Kerry Boyd had to stop public engagements while reports of a relationship were investigated.

Mrs Barnes said Ms Brown handled things well after making mistakes when younger, and Ms Boyd did a good job and could have continued but turned down an extended contract.

After Ms Boyd left, the youth commissioner was not replaced.

Mrs Barnes said she was most proud of Kent Police's "open and transparent" culture.

And she said a new victim centre was providing "a wraparound service" to victims and witnesses, and she believed it would become a blueprint for delivering victims' services.

Voting for Kent's next PCC will take place on 5 May, with six candidates standing.


Image caption Soon after being elected, Ann Barnes took to the streets in a people carrier/office, nicknamed "Ann Force One"

An eventful career

  • November 2012: Becomes Kent's first police and crime commissioner, standing as an independent
  • April 2013: Appoints Paris Brown as the county's first youth police and crime commissioner, only for her to resign over comments she posted on social media
  • March 2014: Installs replacement youth commissioner, Kerry Boyd
  • May 2014: Accused by Kent's police federation chairman of making the force a laughing stock after appearing in a fly-on-the-wall television documentary about her work
  • June 2014: In a particularly uncomfortable week, her new youth commissioner stops doing public engagements in the wake of publicity about her private life
  • November 2014: Independent Police Complaints Commission announces no action is to be taken following an investigation into a road accident involving the PCC but says she may not have been properly insured - a claim she denied
  • November 2014: Defends her record, pointing to improvements in the accuracy of the force's crime figures and the appointment of a new chief constable
  • February 2015 - Announces increase in Kent Police funding after securing a rise in the portion of council tax spent on policing. She says the money will protect frontline policing and announces investment in resources to tackle child sexual exploitation

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