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Home Thanet News Article
A Margate teenager has been appointed Kent's new youth commissioner - almost a year after her predecessor quit just days into the job.
Kerry Boyd was given the role by Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes, who described her as a "strong-minded young lady".
The 19-year-old will start part-time from tomorrow before taking up the role full-time at the beginning of April.
It comes after the original appointment of teenager Paris Brown, from Sheppey, to the post unravelled last April.
She quit just six days into the job when it emerged she had posted offensive remarks on Twitter.
Miss Boyd's personal Twitter account has been protected so only followers can view her messages.
She posted on her official account: "Really proud to be Ann Barnes' youth commissioner. Can't wait to get started!"
Asked today if she had any message for Miss Boyd, Miss Brown said: "I'd just like to wish her the best in her new role and hope that she enjoys it."
"For me this is about giving young people a voice in society and finding out what the younger generation want from the police and wider agencies..." - Kerry Boyd
Former Hartsdown Academy student Miss Boyd is taking a gap year from her degree in education studies and business studies.
In her spare time, she is an active runner and a keen supporter of Chelsea FC. She also enjoys driving, music and was a London 2012 Olympic torchbearer through Sturry.
She will also work with schools, colleges and universities to tackle wider issues such as knife crime.
The role is described as a vital link between policing and young people, with the job involving educating and deterring young people from committing crime and promoting keeping safe online.
Miss Boyd said: "I'm very pleased indeed that I've got the job - it was a role that was calling out to me.
"For me this is about giving young people a voice in society and finding out what the younger generation want from the police and wider agencies.
"Like the commissioner I will always be out and about in local communities."
Hartsdown head of school Tony Davies said: "Kerry is a confident and assured young women who acquits herself well with enthusiasm and dedication.
"She is a good listener and worked effectively as a mentor to younger students as well as a responsible and thoughtful liaison between staff and the student body."
Mrs Barnes said: "Kerry really stood out for me as a strong-minded young lady who has a hunger to make a difference.
"I'm confident that Kerry has lots of exciting ideas to make sure that young people are involved in future policing.
"I'd like to congratulate Kerry on securing the role and look forward to working with her."
Paris Brown, 16, quit in April last year after making explicit comments about sex, drugs and violence on Twitter.
It later emerged there had been no vetting of her social media as part of the recruitment process.
A subsequent independent inquiry commissioned by Mrs Barnes said the recruitment process had not been flawed and was in accordance with existing policies.
Last week, Mrs Barnes was forced to defend the delay in appointing Kerry three months since interviews were carried out.
Appearing before MPs on the home affairs select committee who are investigating the work of crime commissioners, she was quizzed by Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless.
She said: "It has been quite complicated for various reasons that I am not going to go into here."
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