August 31, 2008

Brunstrom Tacks Back on Plans to Sail into Retirement

A CONTROVERSIAL top policeman, who announced his retirement last month, has performed an apparent U-turn.

Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales, pictured, had told a radio programme he intended to retire with his wife and go sailing on his boat.

The 53-year-old-dubbedthe Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban for his strong opinions on speed cameras - gave an interviewsaying he wouldretire next Christmas.

At the time, he told BBC Radio Wales: "My wife and I intend to retire, sell up, buy a boat andgo sailingwhilewe are still fit and young enough to do so.

"I don't want to be the recipient of that old political saw that every political career ends in failure.

"I have a contract that goes to Christmas next year and I suspect by that time I will simply retire and disappear and you will not find me re-emerging as an aspiring politician or indeed in any other field."

But now, in an interviewwith North Wales Weekly News, the chief back tracked, claiming the person who announced his retirement was "mistaken".

"I'm not retiring. I'm not doing a Tony Blair. If anyone has told you I am retiring, they are mistaken," he said.

"Reports of my demise are sadly exaggerated. It is not happening.

I've got work to do.

"I will retire one day - I will die one day - but not any time soon."

Mr Brunstrom, who has 29 years' policing service, is no stranger to controversy.

Last year hewas criticisedfor using a photograph of decapitated biker Mark Gibney without his family's permission.

In September he subjected himself to a 50,000-volt taser to test the effects.

And in December he reportedly broke into his own Colwyn Bay headquarters to test security, but recently it transpiredhe might simplyhavehad a faulty key fob.

A North Wales Police spokesman said: "The chief constable has not announcedhis retirement or given a date on which he intends to do so."

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