4/27/2007UK: Top Cop Exploits Graphic Accident Photos
Wales, UK police chief uses photo of tragic accident to make a point without first notifying the family of the victims.
North Wales, UK Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom yesterday used graphic accident photographs at a news conference to promote the expanded use of speed cameras. Brunstrom used several images of a decapitated motorcyclist as a prop, highlighting the fact that the motorcyclist's torso wore a shirt reading, "Piss off and catch some real criminals."
Despite the potential impact on the victim's family as the incident was recounted before a room of about fifty journalists, none of the families either gave permission for them to be used or were even notified in advance. Road safety advocate Paul Smith lashed out at the police chief's insensitivity.
"Mr. Brunstrom you are a buffoon," Smith said. "Your speed camera policy is damaging the relationship between police and public and road safety itself. The photographs you displayed illustrate just how badly your policy has failed -- not the need for it. Admit your mistake and resign."
Brunstrom, the former traffic head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, has long been a controversial figure. In 2005, he launched an investigation of Tony Blair for "hate crimes" after a memoir writer claimed the prime minister exclaimed, "The [expletive] Welsh!" at his television while watching election results come in from Wales in 1999.
Brunstrom announced at the event his intention to install speed cameras inside the raised reflective pavement markers known as Bott's dots or cat's eyes.