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Home   Kent   News   Article

Kent police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes's Channel 4 documentary Meet The Commissioner 'damaging force's reputation'

28 May 2014
by Paul Francis

A documentary on Kent's police commissioner has damaged the reputation of the force - even before it has been broadcast in full, according to the Kent Police Federation.

Channel 4 show Meet The Commissioner is due to be broadcast tomorrow, but several clips have already been posted as a trailer - including one in which Ann Barnes is seen struggling to say what her job involves.

Another features the commissioner trying to explain a system of policing priorities called "the onion".

Ann Barnes outside the converted motorhome she uses to travel to events across Kent. Picture Channel 4Richard Ansett

Ann Barnes outside the converted motorhome she uses to travel to events across Kent. Picture: Channel 4/Richard Ansett

Ian Pointon, who represents rank and file officers in the force as chairman of the Kent Police Federation, said: "I have only seen the preview clips and consequently will reserve judgement until I have seen the entire programme.

"However, I am concerned about the reputational damage caused by these clips, reputational damage to police officers, their staff colleagues and Kent Police.

"It is important we all understand that Mrs Barnes does not run the force - the chief constable runs Kent Police, a police officer with 30 years of policing experience."

Staring at a flipchart, Ann Barnes struggles to explain the onion theory. Picture Channel 4

Staring at a flipchart, Ann Barnes struggles to explain the "onion" theory. Picture: Channel 4

Kent police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes eventually spells her job title correctly. Picture Channel 4

Kent police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes eventually spells her job title correctly. Picture: Channel 4

Ann Barnes in the converted motorhome she uses to travel to events across Kent. Picture Channel 4

Ann Barnes in the converted motorhome she uses to travel to events across Kent. Picture: Channel 4

He added: "I sincerely hope the public can draw a very clear distinction between the PCC and the officers and staff who, day in day out, provide an excellent service to the people of Kent."

The documentary has also sparked criticisms on the federation's Facebook page.

A posting featuring an image of an onion has drawn more than 40 comments.

One says: "I'd rather stick pins in my eyes rather than watch Kent's reputation flushed down the toilet."

Another says: "She should stand down or be sacked."

An image on the Kent Police Federation Facebook page mocking Ann Barnes's explanation of the onion theory

An image on the Kent Police Federation Facebook page mocking Ann Barnes's explanation of "the onion" theory

Police sources say the programme will feature other embarrassing clips.

"It is a combination of Benefits Street meets Come Dine With Me'," they said. "It is a real car crash."

Mrs Barnes has defended her decision to co-operate with the documentary makers, saying she wanted to be seen as transparent and accountable.

She later said the clips were "mischievously edited".

The full documentary is due to be screened tomorrow at 9pm on Channel 4.


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