Brunstrom: Time to resign?

Brunstrom clearly lost the plot with latest PR stunt

DELUDED Police Chief, Richard Brunstrom, is facing pressure to quit after his latest attention-seeking PR stunt has badly backfired on him.

North Wales Police Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom showed the images of 40-year-old Mark Gibney, who died in 2003, to the attendees at a road safety conference. One person at the road safety conference said: "We knew in advance there were going to be shocking images shown. Still, this came as a shock. And it was even more amazing to think the poor guy's family had no idea it was being put up there in front of 60-odd people."

One image showed the man's head, with the eyes still open, on a grass verge. It was still cased in a red and white helmet with the visor raised. Another image showed the man's headless torso embedded into a car.

Brunstrom's North Wales Police colleague, Chief Superintendent Geraint Anwyl, explained that the 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.

Mr Gibney, of Liverpool, was not named during the presentation but details of his distinctive T-shirt were given, which bore an anti-police message: "Piss off and catch some real criminals." The T-shirt received widespread publicity during Mr Gibney's inquest, and effectively identified him to the audience.

North Wales Police did not tell the dead man's family of the plans to use the pictures. His constituency MP, Bob Wareing, said last night: "It's absolutely deplorable that North Wales police should use the body of a dead man in this way, without asking the family. Whether the accident was his fault or not is beside the point. It's unethical and I will be protesting to the North Wales police."

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."

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 host Anne Robinson.

Time to resign Brunstrom, you've over-stepped the mark