Teen Crime Commissioner In Offensive Tweet Row

Britain's first youth police commissioner has refused to step down after it was revealed she posted a string of offensive comments on Twitter.

Paris Brown, 17, who took up the post just days ago, wrote homophobic and racist comments on her Twitter account and boasted about getting drunk.

She also appeared to condone violence in a tweet saying she was pleased her brother had thumped someone who "gave his tiny little friend a black eye".

The messages were all posted before she took up the one-year post - which has a £15,000 salary funded by the taxpayer - for Kent Police last week.

The disclosure of the tweets has prompted a Twitter backlash against Miss Brown, while Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has led calls for her to step down.

Miss Brown said she "sincerely" apologised for the remarks and for any offence caused, but she told Sky News she would not be resigning and felt she could still do the job.

She said: "I don't want to be judged on tweets that were written a long time ago, before I found out I had the job.

"I don't think it should affect my future, my career. I still want to be the voice of young people. I still think I can be. In a way it shows I am - those tweets are horrible obviously - but I am just a normal teenager.

"Everybody's got a regret, maybe it's a tweet, maybe it's a status but out of 4,000 tweets, there's only a few that have been picked up upon."

In her tweets, the teenager, who turned 17 two days ago, refers to immigrants as "illegals" and gay people as "fags".

In one message she admits "Im (sic) either really fun, friendly and inclusive when Im drunk or Im an anti social, racist, sexist, embarrassing a*******. often its the latter."

Another said: "Been drinking since half 1 and riding baby walkers down the hall at work oh my god I have the best job ever haha!!"

In another she wrote: "I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies."

Miss Brown told Sky her tweets contained the language of youth and that "fag" was not a term of homophobic abuse, but actually meant silly or idiotic.

Speaking on Sky News' Boulton & Co after her appointment on Friday, Miss Brown had said: "Being a young person today you feel like you have got to sort of show that you are growing up, that you are a grown up, even when you are as young as maybe 13 or 14.

"You are growing up at a faster rate in today's time and people might feel I am being patronised or I am being intimidated and that's why the are acting like they are in certain situations."

Miss Brown, whose appointment was to be a trail blazer for other youth commissioners across the country, reports directly to the newly elected Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes.

The police and crime commissioners' roles, which command salaries of up to £100,000, have themselves been controversial, largely because they put inexperienced commissioners in charge of the budget, policing and choosing the chief constable.

Mrs Barnes has said Miss Brown's job is safe.

She said: "I absolutely do not condone the content and language of Paris' tweets. I suspect that many young people go through a phase during which they make silly, often offensive comments and show off on Facebook and Twitter.

"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 would 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."

Miss Brown, who lives with her parents in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, has a full-time apprenticeship role as an office junior at Kent's Swale Borough Council.

She said she had put off doing A-levels for a year while she undertakes the job as commissioner.

Miss Brown has removed her @vilulabelle account from Twitter following the revelations. She now tweets under an official account.

Reports of her deleted remarks have attracted criticism from many Twitter users, including Alex Cahill, who wrote: "Well Paris Brown (@vilulabelle) is a shining example of young people ..."

Paul Davies wrote: "God help us and our police!!!"