"Meet the Police Commissioner" - The Morning After Media releaseLast night Channel 4 screened "Meet the Police Commissioner". The preview clips had whetted the viewers' appetites and they were not to be disappointed. Whilst the show was about the PCC, Mrs Barnes, it was impossible for it not to have some reputational damage for Kent Police. Social media was inundated with overwhelmingly negative comments, including messages of sympathy for Kent Police's officers and staff.
Ian Pointon, Chairman of Kent Police Federation says,
"I watched the show twice with a mixture of laughter, embarrassment, shock and disbelief. To be frank it was a disaster and Mrs Barnes was ill-advised to do this fly-on-the-wall documentary. I know she was advised by Kent Police not to do it, so any responsibility must lie elsewhere. It was always going to end this way, with a mockumentary.
"It is clear this programme has damaged Kent Police's reputation and made us a laughing stock. Obviously this was never Mrs Barnes' intention and if there is one positive from last night's programme, it is Mrs Barnes' efforts to try and increase resources for Kent Police. I accept the reputational damage to Mrs Barnes far exceeds any to Kent Police."
"I would ask that people remember this was a programme about the PCC and not Kent Police. Kent Police is run by the Chief Constable, an officer with 30 years of policing experience. Mrs Barnes does not make operational decisions; that is not her role. Additionally, I would ask that people draw a clear distinction between Mrs Barnes and the police officers and staff who provide an excellent service to the people of Kent. They do not deserve to be tarnished by this programme."