Calls for police chief to resign after he displays picture of headless biker

The Chief Constable of North Wales Police, Richard Brunstrom, has created yet more controversy after he used real pictures of a beheaded motorcyclist in an anti-speeding campaign. After it turned out that he and the police force he leads seem to be more interested in catching speeding motorists rather than murderers and thieves it has earned him the nickname "Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban."

Strangely, the man whose head and headless photo they photographed at the scene of the accident was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words ""P**s off and catch some real criminals" which mocked traffic police.

Apparently, the motorcyclist crashed with such a speed into an oncoming car that the sheer force of the blast ripped his head of his shoulders and his head was probably still alive when it bounced 50 metres along the road before coming to a halt in a grass verge at the side of the road.

Calls for police chief to resign after he displays picture of headless biker


27th April 2007

North Wales Police

Richard Brunstrom: 'Buffoonery of the highest order'

A police chief used graphic photographs of a decapitated motorcyclist to drive home his anti-speeding message.

Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales, released the horrific images without consulting the dead man's family.

One picture showed the man's head, with the eyes still open, on a grass verge. It was still encased in a red and white helmet, with the visor raised.

Another picture showed the man's torso - in a T-shirt emblazoned with an anti-traffic police slogan - embedded in a car.

Campaigners condemned Mr Brunstrom's actions as "deplorable" and called for his resignation.

The gruesome pictures were shown to journalists and local authority representatives at a meeting to promote the force's road safety work.

Chief Superintendent Geraint Anwyl explained that the man's head was torn off by the sheer force of impact.

He said: "His oxygenated brain went flying down the road for 50 metres before he expired. It is horrific, I'm sure you'll agree."

Mr Anwyl also explained that a young family was trapped inside the car, into which the headless torso was embedded, for 90 minutes.

Another picture showed two males, aged 25 and 16, lying dead by the side of a mangled car.

Both accidents were caused by the excessive speed of the dead men.

Mr Brunstrom, who has been dubbed the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban for his love of speed cameras, said the images were shown to drive home the horror caused by dangerous driving.

"We did it to serve a purpose. The images are there to make an impact today," he said.

He confirmed that the families of the dead men were not aware the images were being used in the presentation.

Although their identities were not given, the presentation also included details of a distinctive T-shirt worn by the motorcyclist, which mocked traffic police with the message: "P**s off and catch some real criminals."

Paul Smith of campaign group Safe Speed said Mr Brunstrom should resign.

"This goes beyond outrageous. It's tasteless," he said. 'If it is true that he released these pictures without first getting the consent of the family, then it is deplorable.

"It's buffoonery of the highest order. It is short-term shock-horror. It drives a wedge between the police and the public!

Anti-speed camera protester, the self- styled Captain Gatso, said: "This further damages the relationship between the police and the public.

"It is another example of over-the-top policing that we have seen with the failed speed camera policy.
"Doesn't the family of the deceased have rights? They should have been asked for permission before these images were shown. It's unbelievable."

Mr Brunstrom said his long campaign to improve road safety now enjoyed the support of 70 per cent of the public.

He said North Wales Police led the world in reducing road deaths and his force had saved 53 lives since 2001.

He promised that the next phase of the campaign would be "softer edged, with more education and less punishment".

More speeding drivers would be offered the option of a safe driving course, for which they would l be charged at least 60, instead of a fine and penalty points.

However, he also promised that all new surveillance technology would be assessed, including tiny speed cameras hidden in roadside "cats" eyes'.

He said: "We're not definitely going to buy cats' eye cameras, but they are available and we are looking into them. We will always be transparent with the public.

"We may have a sign up for example, saying 'There are hidden cameras along this road'.

"But we won't have a big arrow saying, 'There's a camera in this cats' eye'."

A most controversial constable

Richard Brunstrom has earned the nickname "the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban" for his unstinting zeal on road safety issues.

In 2003, he called for the number of speed cameras to be trebled.

The chief constable was accused of having warped priorities when figures revealed that his force had solved only 6 per cent of burglaries in a month.

In the same period, his officers solved only 41 of 693 vehicle crimes yet issued 4,200 speeding tickets.

The following year he admitted ordering officers to "hide behind road signs and walls" with handheld devices to catch speeding drivers.

He has also faced criticism for a series of questionable decisions.

Last year, Mr Brunstrom personally endorsed a vending machine for drugs addicts in Colwyn Bay.

His force took out a newspaper advertisement apologising to a man who was dragged from his bed at gunpoint for a crime he did not commit.

He once used the word "queer" to refer to activities by homosexuals in public lavatories - escaping punishment by apologising for the "inappropriate" word.

In 2001 the force spent 4,000 investigating "anti-Welsh" comments by The Weakest Link's English host Anne Robinson.

Mr Brunstrom also defied Crown Prosecution Service advice by investigating claims that Tony Blair shouted "f****** Welsh" after Labour's poor performance in the 1999 Welsh Assembly election.
Brunstrom sounds like a nutter. But I totally agree with the pix of the headless 'cyclist - the truth might make some of us bikers ease off a bit on the throttle and ride more defensively.


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