We were rubbing our eyes in disbelief while watching Channel 4’s documentary Meet The Police Commissioner.
There are two reasons why you should watch this show. The first is for a good laugh. Seriously, we were convinced it was a spoof. The second is because it proves the value of good PR advice.
The subject of the programme – Kent’s police and crime commissioner, Ann Barnes – did hammer home her message that she was standing up for the people of Kent. She even won our sympathy with her contemptuous response to her employee’s nonsensical mutterings about staff culture.
Of course, the documentary makers were mischievous, but starting the day painting your nails at your desk? Declaring that a flashy Mercedes isn’t your style, but driving one anyway? It doesn’t take a ‘PR guru’ to sense that this – along with Barnes’ £85,000 salary – might not go down so well with the public.
And perhaps worse than Barnes patrolling the county in her ‘Ann Force One’ bus, was her struggle to explain the role of a police commissioner on a flipchart: "It’s a strange job, this," she said.