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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 15:51 GMT
Police chief backs US approach
Crime graphic generic
North Wales police chief Richard Brunstrom has said he wants to get tough with criminals and introduce a zero tolerance stance within the force.

The chief constable said he was inspired by the hard-hitting line on crime taken by officers in America.

Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom
Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom advocates a zero tolerance policy

Mr Brunstrom made his comments during a Welsh Assembly meeting with members of the public in Deeside, Flintshire, on Friday.

During the debate he was criticised by members of the audience for penalising motorists rather than tackling what they see as 'more serious crime'.

Mr Brunstrom said it was important for him to attend the North Wales Regional Committee and air his views over how crime can be tackled.

"The public want us to be much less tolerant of crime and disorder even with quite minor offences.

Violent crime

"I am very attracted to the concept of a zero policy, of the police drawing a line in the sand and standing behind it.

"There is a great deal of evidence that this has worked extremely well in North America," he said.

Earlier this year, police performance figures indicated violent crime in north Wales had increased while detection rates had fallen.

The statistics released in April showed that violent crime had rocketed by 36% in the last year whilst the forces detection rate was 28%.

In response to the figures Mr Brunstrom, prepared a detailed report and announced plans to recruit more officers.

Patrolling police officers generic
Extra officers have been trained in north Wales

An extra 200 constables have been taken on by the force within the past four years.

Earlier this week, a BBC Wales investigation discovered a total of 77 people have been injured in violent attacks in Caernarfon in the last six months.

Mr Brunstrom said the perpetrators, believed to be teenage gangs, would be dealt with.

"I'm not sure at all that Caernarfon is worse than any other town of its kind in Britain.

"There is no doubt at all that crime in Britain is going down but there is a problem in Caernarfon, it is a worry, and we are on to it," he said.

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Richard Brunstrom, North Wales Police
"It's increasingly plain that the public want us to to be much less tolerant of disorder, even minor offences."

More from north east Wales
See also:

07 Jun 02 | Wales
18 Sep 02 | Wales
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