According to the Government, Police and crime commissioners have the job of ‘bringing communities closer to the police, building confidence in the system and restoring trust’, but in reality it has just brought the independent Police Forces of the UK into political control.
They were brought in across England and Wales in November 2012 by the Conservatives to set budgets and decide on strategies while also holding chief constables to account.
But lack of enthusiasm for the reform meant the polls were held with little publicity, and a record low 15 per cent of voters turned out, that has resulted in some very unsatisfactory appointments
At the time of the election for Kent Crime Commissioner the turnout was so low for the poll, that Mrs Ann Barnes was elected with a total of 114,137votes from a registered electorate of 1,281,968.
Most people were uninterested, and were of a mind that this whole process was a waste of money, but Cameron, once again pressed ahead with his pet plan, and once again showed total disregard of the wishes of the people whom he was elected to represent.
Last night police officers branded the Kent Crime Commissioner a 'laughing stock' following an 'embarrassing' Channel 4 documentary about her job.
Viewers reacted with fury to last night's Meet The Police Commissioner programme in which Ann Barnes, elected crime chief for Kent, struggled to explain her £85,000-a-year taxpayer-funded role.
The documentary showed Mrs Barnes travelling in a van she dubs 'Ann Force 1', having difficulty explaining an approach to policing priorities.
In the sequence, Mrs Barnes is shown in front of a flipchart on which is a hand-drawn diagram of concentric circles. Mrs Barnes explains that "These are all the various things, different kinds of policing, OK, in Kent," waving a hand in a circular motion around the circles. "And these are the different kinds of policing priorities, in terms of priority."
When asked by the interviewer What would be a crime on the outside of the diagram, she replies “Oh God, no idea, I can't tell you actually, I mean I wasn't thinking I was going to talk about the onion as we call it. Erm, oh, I don't know really”
When further questioned about her role as Police Commissioner she says, “Well, it's a strange job this, it's a strange role, there's actually no job description at all."
Looking at the expressions on the faces of senior police officers sat in meetings being chaired by this woman was embarrasing. Who thought putting a retired teacher with zero experience in policing, in charge of policing resources and budgets was a good idea? She spoke to her Chief a Constable as though he was a naughty little child.
Mrs Barnes was elected as the first PCC in Kent in November 2012 despite previously branding the Government's plan to increase police accountability a 'wilful waste of money'.
She became the most high-profile of the country’s 41 crime tsars a year ago when The Mail on Sunday revealed her £15,000 youth commissioner, Paris Brown, 17, had posted a series of highly offensive comments online.
Mrs Barnes is an 'embarrassment' to Kent Police, and should have stuck to teaching or was that beyond her too?