This page covers issues common to the whole of North Wales, or a large part of it; in particular North Wales Police and the 'Arrive Alive' safety camera partnership.
For local issues particular to each county in North Wales see our local pages on the right.
ABD Local co-ordinator: Email
North Wales Worst For PolAccs
North Wales Police is the worst force in the country when it comes to compensation paid out following accidents involving police vehicles ('PolAccs').
Figures obtained by The Times show that North Wales paid out an average of £70,000 a year in compensation over the last 3 years. This compares to Grampian Police who paid out just £425.
Mr Brunstrom clearly needs to teach his own officers to drive safely before he starts ranting at the public again.
Raking in the Cash
Figures for the financial year 2005/6 have revealed that North Wales raises more cash from speed camera fines per resident than any other area in the country. £3.9 million was raised — equivalent to £5.82 per resident. The figure is seven times higher than neighbouring Merseyside.
Accidents in North Wales
In his blog of 20 Dec 2006, Richard Brunstrom is making a song and dance about how KSI (Killed & Seriously Injured) figures in North Wales have shown the largest drop of any police force in 2005 compared to the 1994–1998 baseline. And naturally he is claiming all the credit for this.
We would make the following observations:
- A significant reduction in serious injuries appears to have occured in 1998, three years before 'Arrive Alive' was formed. Yet in the same year fatalties went up and slight injuries changed little. Much the same happened in 1993.
- Fatalties in 2005 were 42. They were only 47 in 1994 and 45 in 1992.
- 'Arrive Alive' — the cushy name for the North Wales Speed Camera Partnership, was launched in October 2001. Figures for 2002 reduced slightly, but less so than they did in 2001. In 2003 fatal accidents went back up, and went up again in 2004.
- Research carried out by Oxford University in 2006 showed that police/government figures on accident injuries did not tally with hospital admission figures (See our PR497). One possible reason is that people are now less willing to report accidents to the police.
- The current downward trend in serious and slight injuries began in 1999, two years before 'Arrive Alive' was formed, and the trend has been linear (i.e. no increased reduction has occured co-incident with 'Arrive Alive').
"What have the good people of North Wales done to deserve a Chief Constable like Richard Brunstrom?"
former Deputy Chief Constable
of Greater Manchester Police
(Welcome to North Wales)
Click for a larger image you
can print to stick in your car.
Points Reveal Brunstrom's Mindset
Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has come up with a new idea. He's decided to award coppers 'points' depending on what they do. So what does this tell us about his thinking?
Now we would hope that any seizing of anyone's car would only be done in strict compliance with the law, but the way Brunstrom carries on, who knows?
- Arrest a burglar : 10 points
- Seize someone's car : 20 points
Does anyone whose name is not Brunstrom really think that a 'boy racer' is twice as bad as a burglar?
Wolfendale Attacks Motorcyclists
NWP Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale has decided to suck up to his anti-car boss by asking if motorcycles should be banned from National Parks.
Snowdonia Green Key — Take 2
The Snowdonia Green Key Strategy, discredited by massive public opposition just 3 years ago, has been re-launched. The original proposals were to impose blatant anti-car measures across huge swathes of Snowdonia which would have had a seriously detrimental effect on tourism.
The new proposals reject the absurd compulsory park and ride scheme, and look in detail at parking 'problems' and possible solutions, though the obvious solution of providing sufficient parking doesn't seem to be on the agenda. Of significant concern is the plan to introduce the decriminalised parking scam that already infects much of the country.
See the links below for full details. Comments must be submitted by 15th December 2005.
Road Hit List
North Wales Police have drawn up a hit list of 11 roads that will be targetted by speed camera vans, radar traps and even the police helicopter.
The police claim that these have been the most dangerous roads in North Wales in the last 3 years and that the "main causes of deaths are excessive speed, excess alcohol and not wearing a seatbelt". Unsurprisingly, precise details of the accidents are once again conspicuous by their absence. Since 'not wearing a seat belt' is never the cause of any accident, they are clearly trying to hide something.
Using the emotive language typical of anti-car propaganda, the roads are described as 'killer roads'. Maybe they should try improving them then.
Because accidents happen at random, there is no doubt that over the next three years these roads won't be the most dangerous roads in North Wales, and the police will jump up and down and try and claim the credit for this 'success'. Meanwhile 11 other roads will have become the most dangerous because the police are ignoring most of the problems.
First 'Speeding' — Now Seat Belts
The sillyness of North Wales Police has reached new areas — a petrol station forecourt. A student was handed a £30 fixed penalty notice when he undid his seatbelt as he came to a stop on the forecourt. As the forecourt is clearly not part of the public highway, the law requiring drivers to wear a seatbelt clearly does not apply and cannot be enforced. That's quite apart from the fact that it is a shame the copper concerned can't find any proper police work to do.
"I was thinking about becoming a police oficer when I left University but this has put me right off."
Mei Owen, 3rd year Criminology Student, Bangor University
35 + 36 = £120 + 6points
Driver persecution continues unabated in North Wales with the news that a man visiting North Wales with his family was snapped twice by a talivan in one day doing just 35 and 36mph.
Colin Gregory has been mugged of £120 and had 3 points put on his licence. It was the first time he had been to North Wales. Needless to say he has no immediate plans to come back.
"What it has done is made me feel I have been targeted purely for financial reasons and not for road safety."
The police supposedly have a speed limit enforcement threshold of 10%+2. In other words, if you are only slightly over the speed limit and not posing a danger to anyone you will be let off. That discretion now seems to have flushed down the toilet, as the discredited pratnerships become desperate for cash.
Judge Slams Police Over Speeding Prosecutions
Judge Derek Halbert has slammed North Wales Police for automating speeding prosecutions. Demonstrating once again their contempt for due legal process when dealing with drivers, the police had submitted numerous items of evidence supposedly witnessed and signed by a police officer, yet it was revealed in court that the signature had in fact been scanned and added by computer. The judge described the police procedure as "utterly inappropriate". Now that their game has been uncovered, the police are promising the change the procedure. The question is why they introduced it in the first place.
The police have now written to 6500 affected drivers to state that their convictions may be flawed.
"North Wales police are reaping the consequences of their heavy-handed conveyor belt approach to highway policing for which they were rightly criticised by Judge Derek Halbert."
David Jones, Solicitor, Llandudno.
£3.4 million from speed cameras
North Wales raised £3.4 million from speed cameras in the financial year 2003/4. £2.2m went to the police; nearly £270,000 to magistrates' courts; £396,000 to the highways authority; and nearly half a million went into government coffers.
Brunstrom claims fatal accidents fell by 11 on roads targetted by speed cameras. Yet figures show a reduction of only two from 51 to 49 across the whole of North Wales.
We Are Not Amused
Not content with the existing public anger at speed cameras, North Wales police have incited yet more. They've sent two police officers on a jolly 'fact finding trip' to learn how another police force uses speed cameras — a police force that has recently had to refund 90,000 speeding fines after its speed cameras were shown to be faulty.
The police force in question is Victoria Police, Australia.
Yes that's right, Brunstrom's force spent £2000 of rate payers money on sending two coppers to Australia.
How long did it take them to respond last time you dialled 999?
That they sent them at all is bad enough. That they sent them to a force who are clearly incompetent when it comes to speed cameras is utterly unacceptable. Victoria Police have been forced to refund fines to the tune of AU$14,000,000, and set up a AU$6 million compensation fund for those who wrongly lost their driving licences after a speed camera on Melbourne's Western Ring Road was shown to be faulty.
We demand that Mr Brunstrom reimburse North Wales Police funds for this disgraceful waste of public money.
Lurking With Intent
"We are hiding behind road signs and walls, we are not trying to trick people but we are saying 'You don't know where we will be'."
Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom
Holyhead & Anglesey Mail — Defiant Brunstrom calls for more cameras 2004-08-16
Camera Report Generates More Lies
Richard Brunstrom is spouting the success of speed cameras after a government speed camera report claimed speed cameras had reduced accidents by 40%.
It is claimed that one of the most successful cameras is on the A541 "Wrexham to Cefn-y-Bedd" road, which for the three years before cameras claimed on average four "killed or seriously injured" a year. After speed cameras were put in place, it fell to nil.
However, no such reduction is shown in the DfT report because accident figures for 2003 have not been published. The camera was only installed in March 2003. So where does this claimed reduction come from?
No precise location of the accidents on the A541, nor their cause, is given.
As usual they intentionally fail to distinguish between those killed, and those 'seriously injured' (a serious injury can be a broken finger).
The Wrexham Mail stated on Feb 19th 2003 that "On the A541 Mold Road between January 1999 and December 2001 there were five serious injuries and 23 slight injuries". It's not clear exactly what section of the road that includes, but it had no deaths.
The A541 between Wrexham and Cefn-y-Bedd is dual carriageway about 4 miles long. There is only one speed camera — on Mold Road, a urban somewhat traffic-calmed dual carraigeway as you enter Wrexham, the road here has a 30mph limit.
In December 2003, a new set of traffic signals was installed at the A541/A550 junction to reduce accidents. Brunstrom of course, forgot to mention this, prefering to give all the credit for accident reduction to his beloved speed camera — over 3 miles away.
Here are the press articles we could find on accidents on the A541. It is worth pointing out that some of the accidents counted by the DfT may have occured before newspapers started publishing to the web. Some of the accidents below are north of Cefn-y-Bedd and we'd like to verify that they are not being counted in the figures for the speed camera which is miles away, but as they refuse to publish precise details of each accident counted how can anyone believe a word they say?
Get Your Own House In Order Mr Brunstrom!
Whilst North Wales Police continue their relentless war on drivers, the Police Complaints Authority have issued a damning report on how the force conducts police pursuits.
It appears that whilst North Wales Police tell everybody else to obey speed limits, many of their officers fail to exercise adequate caution during pursuits.
- More than half of pursuits conducted by North Wales Police ended with a collision, compared to only 13% in South Wales.
- Average estimated maximum speed in North Wales Police incidents was 73mph compared to 53mph by South Wales Police.
- North Wales Police recorded the highest injury rate - an average of 0.37 injuries per incident.
- Overall, North Wales Police force had more arrests but speeds were on average higher, the number of collisions greater and the force had the highest statistical rate of injuries.
We suggest Mr Brunstrom gets his own house in order before he launches any more attacks on the public.
It's a secret!
What is? — The number of accidents in North Wales apparently.
Despite four requests, North Wales Police failed to provide the Mail on Sunday with road casualty figures for the last 3 years. Many other police forces around the country were more obliging. We can only conclude that North Wales Police have something to hide — the truth for example.
The 37mph letter
With the people of North Wales planning protests against excessive speed enforcement by the police, any rational Chief Constable would have the sense to keep his head below the parapet for a while. Not so anti-speed fanatic Richard Brunstrom. His latest idea is to start sending sending letters to people caught at speeds between 35 and 37 in a 30 zone, the letter will apparently warn drivers they've been caught (if you've had one, do send us a copy). Penalty notices are apparently issued at 38mph or above, but police say those below 38 have been slipping 'through the net'.
32,333 down — 271,960 to go
|"The tourism industry is going to be badly affected because there is no doubt that people will stop coming to North Wales."
Mark Francis, Rhuddlan businessman
In the five months April to August 2003, North Wales Police caught 32,333 drivers exceeding a speed limit. That's equivalent to over 10% of the drivers who live in North Wales*. If they haven't caught you yet, they soon will.
Are 10% of the population burglars?
Are 10% of the population muggers?
Are 10% of the population shoplifters?
Are 10% of the population criminals?
— of course not.
So what on earth do North Wales Police think they are doing other than alienating the public?
* Source Census 2001, assuming households with one car have one driver, those with two or more, two drivers.
Failed in Wales
Violent crime rose 36% in North Wales in the past year.
Detection rates for violent offences fell from 82% to 64%.
In April 2003, just 18 out of 296 burglaries in North Wales were cleared up — 6.1% — and the lowest rate ever recorded.
Only 41 of 693 vehicle crimes were solved.
But 4,200 speeding tickets were issued (raking in £250,000).
What do you think of North Wales police priorities?
North Wales Police kept £1.7 million of the £2.6 million raised from speeding fines in 2002.
Elsewhere on the ABD website:
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