The UK’s first teenage crime commissioner has apologised in the face of calls to resign, despite not having even started in the role, because she posted a string of homophobic, racist and violent tweets.
Paris Brown, 17, was announced last week as Britain’s first youth crime commissioner, and is set to work alongside Kent’s Police Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes, and is intended to represent a youth perspective on policing and crime.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Brown, who was set to receive a £15,000 salary, paid out of Barnes’ own £85,000, posted several offensive tweets from her personal Twitter account @vilulabelle, in which she use the words “fags”, “Illegals”, and “pikeys” to describe gay people, immigrants and travellers.
The private account, which has now been closed, as Brown now tweets from an official account, was used to tweet messages about drug use and sex.
“Worst part about being single is coming from a party/night out horny as f*** and having to sleep alone,” one tweet read.
In another tweet, she said: “I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies.”
She also wrote: “Been drinking since half 1 and riding baby walkers down the hall at work oh my god i have the best job ever haha!!,” another said: “I want to fucking cut everyone around me.”
Brown released a statement today apologising for the tweets, that her views were not represented in the tweets, and saying she was “showing off”.
She said: “I deeply apologise for any offence caused by my use of inappropriate language and for any inference of inappropriate views.
“I am not homophobic, racist or violent and am against the taking of drugs.
“If I’m guilty of anything it’s showing off and wildly exaggerating on Twitter and I am very ashamed of myself, but I can’t imagine that I’m the only teenager to have done this.
“I have a genuine interest in working with young people, as demonstrated by my current work as an apprentice for a local authority helping teenagers in a local community.”
She continued: “Just as one example, the line about ‘Hash Brownies’ is a reference to a Scooby Doo film.”
Kent’s independent police and crime commissioner Ann barnes also commented saying: “‘I absolutely do not condone the content and language of Paris’ tweets.
“I am sure she will be ashamed of these comments but I would bet you that any parent who accessed a Twitter or Facebook account would be surprised and perhaps shocked at some of the stuff that’s on it because that’s what kids do.”
Speaking to Sky News, she said that Brown was subject to a “proper recruitment process” and was vetted by the police force.
“This is a very difficult time for her personally, but she will learn quickly from this and rapidly mature into the confident young person we are already seeing.
“I think that if everyone’s future was determined by what they wrote on social networking sites between the ages of 14 and 16 we’d live in a very odd world. I also suspect that thousands of parents would be at best surprised and at worst deeply shocked and ashamed if they looked into the social networking of their children.”
Conservative councillor, Nicholas Rogers, tweeted a response to the calls for Brown to step down. He said: “Naive to throw a teen into robust political environment. Youth PCC nice bit of PR but ended in tears.”