University of Central Lancashire report reveals Ann Barnes' recruitment of Kent youth crime commissioner Paris Brown was 'robust and transparent'
A report into the recruitment process that led to the appointment and then swift resignation of Kent’s first youth crime commissioner has concluded it was “robust, transparent and very well designed and run.”
The University of Central Lancashire report was commissioned by Kent crime commissioner Ann Barnes after the well-publicised events that led to the successful candidate Paris Brown choosing to quit the role after comments she made on Twitter, some of which were construed as homophobic.
It concludes the process adopted by the crime commissioner and the vetting procedures were in line with good practice and “there was nothing to suggest that the process was anything but fair and equitable.”
Paris Brown quits at Youth Crime Commissioner, with Ann Barnes
On the question of whether the interviewing panel should have quizzed candidates for the role about social media and carried out checks, the report states: “There was no real reason that this post should have been singled out for special attention.”
It absolves the crime commissioner and those involved of any blame for failing to probe and challenge on the use of social media sites, saying the process of vetting “was identical to those carried out for the bulk of posts within Kent Police and at the time there was no real reason to seek to go beyond those checks.”
Ann Barnes said: “This report clearly sets out that the recruitment process used was rigorous and fully complied with the guidelines used across great swathes of the policing and wider public services world.
Paris Brown, with Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes
"For me, the report conclusions can be summed up as saying that my office didn’t ask for social networking vetting to be done, and the force didn’t advise that it should be done.
"A classic case of something falling between two stools - I take responsibility for this. Lessons have been learnt and it’s now time to move on and recruit for this important role.”
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