Revealed: Real Reason That the 'Mad Mullah' Police Chief Broke into His Office; ACTION MAN: Richard Brunstrom during a PR Stunt Earlier This Year and, below, His North Wales Police HQ with the Scaffolding He Climbed to Get into the Building

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), August 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

Revealed: Real Reason That the 'Mad Mullah' Police Chief Broke into His Office; ACTION MAN: Richard Brunstrom during a PR Stunt Earlier This Year and, below, His North Wales Police HQ with the Scaffolding He Climbed to Get into the Building


Byline: Simon Walters

ONE of Britain's most controversial police chiefs was involved in a new row last night over his account of how he 'broke in' to his own police HQ.

A secret police report on the incident obtained by The Mail on Sunday shows the official version of the bizarre stunt by North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom was not true.

At the time, police said action man Mr Brunstrom climbed builders' scaffolding and clambered in through an unlocked window to expose lax security. The full circumstances have never been explained.

But the police have now admitted the real reason was less heroic, though equally bizarre: Mr Brunstrom climbed in because his keyring fob access pass did not work and the headquarters' reception is not manned at weekends.

In addition, secret papers concerning Mr Brunstrom's reaction when news of the incident leaked out were mysteriously destroyed.

And separately, The Mail on Sunday has been told that his 'break-in' at the police HQ in Colwyn Bay was detected by a security guard who alerted police. Officers rushed to the scene to find the 'intruder' was their own chief constable.

Last night, Tory MP David Jones, whose Clwyd West constituency includes Colwyn Bay, called for an inquiry by the North Wales Police Authority.

He said: 'If this is correct an immediate inquiry is called for.

I propose to write to the Police Authority demanding just that.' Mr Brunstrom was nicknamed the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban because of his extreme enthusiasm for speed cameras.

Last year he admitted making a 'stupid mistake' by showing photographs of a decapitated road accident victim at a Press briefing without permission of the man's family.

Ever since his 'break-in' at the police HQ was first reported, rumours have circulated among North Wales Police and politicians that the full story was not disclosed.

On December 14, when the media first heard of the incident, North Wales Police Press office issued a statement after discussing the matter with Mr Brunstrom and senior police management. They presented it as a public-spirited act by the police chief intended to expose lax security.

However, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show this was false.

They reveal the incident happened on Saturday, December 1, two weeks before it was first reported in the media.

The confidential police report of the security incident states baldly: 'Chief Constable attempts to gain access to HQ but due to a fault on the fob access system is denied access.

'As this occurs at the weekend there is no reception staff available.

He then scales the erected scaffolding and gains entry via an open/unlocked window into an unspecified office. …

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Revealed: Real Reason That the 'Mad Mullah' Police Chief Broke into His Office; ACTION MAN: Richard Brunstrom during a PR Stunt Earlier This Year and, below, His North Wales Police HQ with the Scaffolding He Climbed to Get into the Building
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