Failiure to spot Paris Brown’s ‘homophobic and racist’ Twitter posts was a ‘fiasco’, say MPs

May 29, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

The failure to spot vile Twitter posts from the teenager chosen as Britain’s first youth crime commissioner has been criticised as a “fiasco”, by an MPs’ report.

Paris Brown, 17, was forced to quit as youth crime commissioner for Kent before she had even started the role when it emerged she had sent potentially racist and homophobic tweets.

The teenager was shamed into quitting her £17,000-a-year post after she wrote about sex and drugs – and referred to travellers as “pikies”.

Paris Brown, who quit just six days into her new role after offensive tweets emerghed

Paris Brown, who quit just six days into her new role after offensive tweets emerghed

Police investigated the remarks following public complaints but later confirmed no further action would be taken.

Now MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee have published a report which heavily criticises the way the Kent and Medway Crime Panel dealt with matter.

The probe concluded the panel – made up of local councillors and lay representatives – failed to properly scrutinised Miss Brown’s appointment, in not checking her social media.

It emerged as part of a wider criticism of PPCs, who it said were receiving poor legal advice.

The Police and Crime Commissioners: Register of Interests report read: “We are concerned the incompetent legal advisers appear to have sought to prevent crime panels from even meeting to scrutinise key and highly questionable decisions by Police Crime Commissioners.

“For instance the suspension of the Chief Constable in Lincolnshire and the fiasco concerning the appointment of “youth commissioner” in Kent.

“It is in such circumstances that a panel chair needs to ensure that the crime panel meets urgently.

“If they fail to do so on the basis of wholly inappropriate legal advice or otherwise the process of local scrutiny of the PCP role falls into disrepute.”

Just a week after she was appointed to the role Tweets emerged from Miss Brown, including: “I really wanna make a batch of hash brownie”.

And on February 17, she was seen to have written: “im either really fun, friendly and inclusive when im drunk or im an anti social, racist, sexist, embarrassing a******.”

A day earlier she seemingly criticised foreign workers at a pizza business by writing: “i can speak f***ing english its the illegals on the other end that cant.”

She stood down from the role leaving Kent crime commissioner Ann Barnes, who created the role, to publicly refute claims it had been a disastrous publicity stunt.

At its last meeting, the panel was told that it could not question the commissioner about the appointment because at the time Miss Brown was subject to a police investigation.

Ann Barnes yesterday (Weds) criticised the report, saying “you can’t keep emphasis on the negative.”

She added: “I am absolutely appalled that the Home Affairs Committee has published inaccurate information in relation to my office.

“This is downright disgraceful and if we cannot rely on elected members in parliament to issue accurate and truthful information then who can we rely on?

“The appointment of Miss Brown was a manifesto commitment of mine and I kept my promise.”

The MPs report, published last Thursday, also criticised other aspects of the new Police Crime Commissioners policy, including the £5,000 deposit candidates must pay to stand.

It found that aspect of the process risked having “an effect on competition and diversity in the PCC elections.”

The report also found the limitations on who could stand for the posts are “excessive”.

It read: “While we recognise that PCC’s must be of the highest integrity, we also believe that rules baring anyone from standing who has a criminal conviction for an imprisonable offence, even as a juvenile, are excessive and should be brought into line with the rules for other public offices.”

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