Tag Archives: ann barnes

Kent Crime Commissioner ‘May’ Have Broken Law

Ann Barnes

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published its report today on a road traffic incident involving Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes.

It was in September 2014, that Mrs Barnes was involved in a road traffic incident (RTI) with another car in Princes Road, Dartford. A  check on her insurance details revealed that the car was insured and registered in her husband’s name, that she was a named driver, and the policy related to social, domestic and pleasure use only.

At the time Mrs Barnes reported that she had just visited the Kent Police Safety Shop at Bluewater shopping centre and was on her way to a meeting at Dartford Borough Council.

Ann Barnes Mercedes

The IPCC report noted that Mrs Barnes’ insurance policy “only covered her for social domestic and pleasure purposes including commuting to and from a permanent place of business. There was considerable confusion as to whether Mrs Barnes was covered; either to the extent of third party risks or under a commuting clause”.

Today’s report follows the CPS ruling in February that it had not been provided with sufficient evidence which would be fundamental to considering the matter in terms of alleged criminality stating “Although some further investigation might assist in determining whether there would be sufficient evidence to prosecute this matter, we are not advising that any further enquiries take place as in any event we consider that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute.”

Ann Barnes

The IPPC also noted that “she may have driven the Mercedes for business purposes without adequate insurance on multiple occasions”, but that the “investigation has not been able to obtain evidence from any other source to identify which vehicle she was driving on any specific occasion other than on the day of the incident”.

The report concluded that “there is evidence upon which the IPCC Commissioner could determine that an offence of using motor vehicle without insurance on 16 September 2014, contrary to The Road Traffic Act 1998, may have been committed by Mrs Barnes”

In her response to the report Mrs Barnes said “This issue was dealt with last February when the CPS, having reviewed the evidence supplied by the IPCC, took the independent decision not to charge me”.  She concluded “I have fully co-operated with the IPCC’s lengthy investigation, and I am pleased that the matter has finally been resolved.”

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CUTTING EDGE – MEET THE POLICE COMMISSIONER

Ann Barnes with Ann Force 1
Ann Force 1

Channel 4 recently aired a documentary entitled “Meet the Police Commissioner” – which was a fly on the wall look at Kent’s first Commissioner who is charged with efficient and effective policing Ann Barnes

The documentary paints a pretty unflattering picture of Ann who seemingly bumbles her way from one meet to the next.

And there in lies the trap door of life…never agree to a television programme without having a veto on the final edit.

Television makers employ people to make their subjects like and trust them.  To tell them all the stuff that said subject thinks and feels they want portrayed on the screen – make them feel like they are the ones writing the script.

The truth is – the only people writing the script are the TV production company and all those moments when you thought you had their trust, when you thought you’d made a real friendship – goes right out the window – they will tell you anything you want to hear to get their story.

And that is why I feel really sorry for Ann Barnes.   I do not for one second believe that the image portrayed by this documentary is fair and rounded and certainly not what was promised.  Out of all the hours of filming – they have focused on maybe 10% of who Ann is.

Imagine for one second, if you had camera’s following you 8 hours per day at work for 3 months and you were trying to be as open and honest as possible.  There would be, I’m sure, many good things – but also – there would be some embarrassing moments, a few mistakes, some points you’d rather weren’t show and some that you hope they do.

Now imagine if over the course of an hour – you saw all those negative bits – those big nasty warts that’d you’d hoped would have been cut or edited – the main focus of the programme.  I guess, like what may have happened to Ann – the blood draining from your face.

I can only imagine that Ann’s agreement was part genuinely wanted to engage the public in understand her role and part ego.  Maybe she allowed herself to believe the sweet talk from the producers who, I’m sure, assured her that she’d be pleased with the results and all was fine.

The truth is television relies on those who take part to be flattered into signing away the right to your personal identity and allowing a production company to define your image – put it out for everyone to see – then walk away.