Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 12:23 UK

Police chief announces retirement

Richard Brunstrom
An officer asleep on the job inspired Mr Brunstrom to join the force

The chief constable of North Wales Police Richard Brunstrom has announced that he will retire from the force in July.

His retirement concludes more than eight years as leader of the force and 30 years with the policing service.

Last year, Mr Brunstrom had announced that he expected to retire by Christmas 2009 but later said the person who announced his departure was "mistaken".

Mr Brunstrom has faced controversy throughout his time as chief constable.

Ian Roberts, chair of the North Wales Police Authority, said they were sorry to learn of Mr Brunstrom's intention to retire.

"I would like to pay tribute to his unflagging energy and commitment to making North wales a better and safer place," he said.

"Under his leadership north Wales has become one of the best performing forces in the UK.

1979 Joined Sussex Police as a zoology graduate from Bangor University
1990 Joined Greater Manchester Police as a superintendent, and was a regular match commander at Old Trafford
1995 Appointed assistant chief constable in Cleveland, later becoming deputy chief constable
2000 Joined North Wales Police
2001 Succeeded Michael Argent as chief constable. Told his police authority that decriminalising drugs including heroin and cocaine would help to wipe out a multi-million pound criminal trade
2002 Called for a "cultural shift" in attitudes to speeding
2003 A retired assistant chief constable tells Mr Brunstrom to "get a grip" and claims he has an "obsession" with speeding drivers
2005 Claims to be the first police constable to start a blog
2006 Created an honorary druid by the gorsedd of bards at the Eisteddfod for his learning and promotion of the Welsh language
2007 Criticised for showing pictures of a decapitated biker at a briefing as part of his anti-speeding campaign and apologised. Subjected himself to 50,000v to demonstrate his support for taser trial. Reportedly broke into his force HQ to test security
2009 Co-presented the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2

He was dubbed the "Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban" because of his strong views against speeding.

In 2007, Mr Brunstrom was criticised for showing pictures of a decapitated biker at a private briefing without the permission of the man's family.

He admitted later he had made a "stupid" mistake but then partly blamed the media for reporting what he had done.

In September 2007, he also subjected himself to a 50,000 volt taser to test the effects.

In December he reportedly broke into his own Colwyn Bay headquarters to test security, but it recently emerged he may have had a faulty key fob.

He is also known for his support for the decriminalisation of heroin.

Mr Brunstrom originally announced his intention to retire in a programme broadcast on BBC Radio Wales in August 2008.

In it he said he wanted to buy a boat and sail with his wife when his contract ended.

But in an interview with a local paper later that month, he said the person who announced his departure was "mistaken".

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