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10/10/2005
UK: Head Police Chief Wants More Ticketing Technology
Times of London interview with top UK cop provides insight into the future of road policing.

Richard Brunstrom
Richard Brunstrom, the UK's head traffic police chief, has issued a call to maximize the use of technology to increase the number of tickets issued. He wants the speed cameras inside road markers known as Bott's Dots or cat's eyes that the Malaysian government recently embraced. He also wants databases to ticket instantly anyone who is late to re-register his car or insurance.

"It is like shooting fish in a barrel!" Brunstrom, the chief constable for North Wales and traffic head of the Association of Chief Police Officers exclaimed of the new technology in his interview with the Times of London. "It is fantastic! And Britain is leading the world."

Despite the high-tech crackdown, Brunstrom maintained that he is not anti-motorist. "I am anti-death," Brunstrom said. "We are not creating a vindictive police state."

He rejected the notion that those who drive a few MPH over the UK's top 70 MPH limit should be treated with compassion. "That is a common point of view but I think it is ridiculous. The law says you cannot drive over 70mph and if you are caught, you deserve it."

Brunstrom's position shifted when a tabloid caught Brunstrom's daughter speeding. "She did nothing wrong. That is not cricket."

Brunstrom's tough tactics have not yielded better safety results. Road deaths throughout Britain were down eight percent last year, but increased from 49 to 58 in Brunstrom's territory. Brunstrom blamed this on "good weather."

Brunstrom is also investigating Tony Blair for "hate crimes" after a memoir writer claims the prime minister exclaimed "the [expletive] Welsh!" at his television while watching election returns in Wales in 1999.

"We have definitely put more effort into hate crime," Brunstrom said. "There is almost no way we could not investigate what is being reported (about Blair). It is not trivial."

Source: Interview: Jasper Gerard meets Richard Brunstrom (London Times (UK), 10/9/2005)

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