Page 3 Profile: Kerry Boyd, youth police and crime commissioner


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The Independent Online

Look out, Kent – there’s a new sheriff in town!

Kerry Boyd, 19, has been unveiled as the new Youth Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent. The education and business studies student will start her role in April.

What will her work entail?

It is described as being a vital link between policing and young people and will involve educating and deterring young people from crime and promoting online safety. Ms Boyd, who hails from Margate, will also work with youngsters to tackle wider issues such as knife crime.

What about her studies?

Keeping crime at bay is a full-time job, so Ms Boyd is taking a gap year to work the 37.5-hour week.

Her annual salary is £15,000, a third of which will be paid for by Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes, who earns £85,000 per year.

Her predecessor didn’t last long, if memory serves…

Paris Brown resigned from the job last year after a six-day tenure. The teenager, then aged 17, stepped down from the position after it emerged she had used her personal Twitter account to publish a string of racist and homophobic remarks.

She also posted messages alluding to drug use, underage drinking and threats of violence. She was questioned by officers from Kent police’s Special Branch.

Yikes. Will Ms Boyd be following in her footsteps?

Hopefully not. As a former head girl and London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer, her behaviour to date has been exemplary.

Keen to avoid the fate that befell Ms Brown, she has also wisely adjusted the privacy settings of her personal Twitter account so that only people she has approved to follow her can read her messages.

Ms Barnes has also reassured the public that all of Ms Boyd’s social media activities had been vetted.

The verdict?

“I’m confident that Kerry has lots of exciting ideas to make sure that young people are involved in future policing,” Ms Barnes said. Her young sidekick is equally enthusiastic and said: “It was a role that was calling out to me.”

She added that she sees it as an opportunity to give young people a voice and find out what they want from the police.

“Like the commissioner I will always be out and about in local communities,” she promised.