UK

Police Commissioner Ann Barnes Sorry For 'Car Crash' Channel 4Doc, But STILL Won't Resign £85,000 Post

05/06/2014 12:06 BST | Updated 05/06/2014 12:59 BST

Beleaguered police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes has apologised for refusing to give up her £85,000 post after a mortifying fly-on-the-wall documentary that officers said made the force "a laughing stock".

Barnes was defiant over calls to quit, despite pressure having intensified yesterday after a youth crime tsar she appointed was temporarily suspended over allegations of a relationship with a married former councillor.

She apologised to rank-and-file officers about the documentary at a meeting of Kent and Medway police and crime panel today, saying she was "deeply sorry" and admitting that "with hindsight" it was the wrong decision to feature in it.

ann barnes police

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes was defiant over calls to quit

But she added: "I will continue to do my work as commissioner."

Barnes was urged to ''consider her position'' after Kerry Boyd, the youth crime commissioner she appointed just three months ago, was temporarily suspended following allegations she had a close friendship with married former councillor Robert Burgess.

Burgess told BBC Radio Kent he and Miss Boyd had been "good friends".

Kent Police and Crime Panel member Tony Martin said: "The general worry I have got is that it's not the first time it has happened with Ann Barnes. We were assured last time that this would not happen again.

"I do think she should be considering her position and I am sure she will be looking at herself very closely but I am very conscious of the fact I have not heard her side of the story."

The 20-year-old former London 2012 torchbearer was given the role in March after her predecessor Paris Brown, then 17, resigned over offensive comments she made on Twitter. Brown had boasted about her sex life, taking illegal drugs and boozing and had also posted violent, racist and homphobic comments

In Meet The Commissioner, which aired last week, Barnes, who travels around in a van she dubs ''Ann Force 1'', struggled to explain what her role involved and was filmed having difficulty explaining an approach to policing priorities called ''the onion''.

She also failed to write her title correctly on a whiteboard, was filmed painting her ''flaky'' nails and compared the force to a tin of paint that she wanted to ''prise'' open.

Ian Pointon, chairman of the Kent Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers said it was a "horrendous hour of television."

He told BBC Radio Kent: "I think it was probably a disaster from start to finish, in fairness.

"It was an ill-advised concept and from within Kent Police I know that Mrs Barnes was advised not to do it. It was never going to end well.

"I think, sadly, it has turned Kent Police by association into something of a laughing stock. Social media was alight with comments."