Kent: Recruitment For New Youth Commissioner

Recruitment has opened for a new youth crime tsar for Kent after the previous teenage post-holder quit over offensive comments she made on Twitter.

The job will be a 12-month internship with a salary of £15,000, partly funded from the wage packet of Ann Barnes, Kent's police and crime commissioner.

The decision to invite applications for the post comes after Paris Brown ended up having to step down as Britain's first youth police and crime commissioner.

Miss Brown, then 17, had her mobile phone seized by officers who investigated her postings on Twitter over claims they were homophobic, racist and violent.

She had denied being anti-gay or racist, and said she was against taking drugs, insisting that a reference to making "hash brownies'' was from a Scooby Doo film.

The teenager, from Sheerness, was eventually put in the clear last April after Kent Police disclosed that no further action would be taken against her.

Ms Barnes said there had been a "huge amount of interest'' from young people looking to fill the post, with recruitment open now until November 3.

She said: "My own experience as a teacher and magistrate has shown me on a depressingly regular basis the social and human cost of young people being tempted into a life of crime or anti-social behaviour. Once in the criminal justice system, it's very difficult to get them out.

"There is also a significant body of work required to help stop young people becoming victims of crime, which my youth commissioner will lead. I hope people will agree that young people will relate better to a young person.

"I also hope they will agree that if this post saves just one person from becoming a victim or a perpetrator, it will have proved itself to be a valuable investment in the community safety of Kent.''

The episode involving Miss Brown led Ms Barnes to commission a review by the University of Central Lancashire amid questions about the selection and recruitment process.

The report revealed that Miss Brown's social media sites had not been checked but she had been questioned about her use of them by a "peer panel'' and nothing of concern emerged.

The level of vetting of Miss Brown was the same as for police staff and officers within the force, it said. And it concluded that the process was ``robust, transparent and very well-designed''.

However, responding to the report's findings earlier this month, Ms Barnes said "lessons have been learnt'' and that she took responsibility.

Click here to be taken to the recruitment website