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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 18:58 GMT
MPs in call for Brunstrom to quit
Mark Gibney (family photo)
Mark Gibney died in a motorcycle crash in 2003
MPs have joined calls for North Wales Police chief Richard Brunstrom to quit after he was criticised for showing pictures of a decapitated motorcyclist.

The police watchdog said Mr Brunstrom left the family of Mark Gibney, 40, of Merseyside, "deeply distressed" by using the images at a closed briefing.

Elfyn Llwyd MP called his actions "alarming" while Martyn Jones MP said the report did not exonerate him.

The force has made no comment but police chiefs will discuss the report.

Earlier, Mr Gibney's family released a statement calling for his resignation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report said Mr Brunstrom had not committed a criminal act by his actions but criticised him for failing to warn the family the images would be shown.

It also condemned the force for a lack of planning, risk assessment and damage limitation actions and said it needed "the highest quality advice".

An e-mail from Brunstrom to a press officer saying that pictures initially planned for the presentation were not "gruesome" enough but that the photos of Mr Gibney were "outstandingly good", is also quoted in the report.

Bill Gibney
Any person in north Wales who has got any sense knows that this is a disgrace. It is not giving Joe Public any kind of confidence in this man
Bill Gibney

Elfyn Llwyd, leader of Plaid Cymru in the Commons and MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, said he found the contents of the e-mail "quite alarming".

For the first time, he felt Mr Brunstrom should consider his position, he said.

Martyn Jones, Labour MP for Clwyd South, said he stood by his call in April for Mr Brunstrom's resignation.

"The report suggests his complicity in many errors of judgement when it comes to handling the media," he said.

The report said that Bill Gibney, Mark's father, had tried to shelter his family from detailed knowledge of the nature of his son's death in 2003.

But it said the use of the images in a private road safety presentation in April 2007 would have re-opened their wounds and grief.

It added that the incident "could, and possibly should, have been avoided".

Mr Gibney said the report had not given his family any comfort but he hoped it would bring about changes in the way police conducted themselves.

Richard Brunstrom, North Wales Police chief constable
Mr Brunstrom used the images in an anti-speeding campaign

"As far as we are concerned he has broken a code of conduct. No-one should be allowed to do what he has done," he said.

"Any person in north Wales who has got any sense knows that this is a disgrace. It is not giving Joe Public any kind of confidence in this man."

Paul Beck, the Gibneys' solicitor, said the family were now "exploring" their legal options.

He added: "Any chief constable occupies a position of great trust and yet it is clear Richard Brunstrom acted without the family's permission and with no thought to their welfare.

"His explanation that the meeting with the press was "closed" does not excuse him of his responsibility to protect and have regard for the victims of this accident.


"It is high time Richard Brunstrom was made to accept responsibility for his actions.

"The IPCC report makes recommendations and the Gibney family will be watching to ensure those recommendations progress."

Motorcycle News delivered 1,600 readers' emails to the IPCC which complained about Mr Brunstrom's actions.

News editor Ben Purvis said its readers "will feel shocked and horrified that Mr Brunstrom will not be reprimanded."

North Wales Police have made no comment on the matter.

The North Wales Police Authority said it would consider the IPCC's report at a special meeting.

North Wales Police Authority will study the IPCC report


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