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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Bikers meet over 'park ban' call
Clive Wolfendale
Clive Wolfendale was accused of breaching the police code of conduct
Bikers in north Wales will meet on Tuesday to discuss their reaction to a senior policeman's suggestion to ban motorcycles from national parks.

The North Wales Motorcycle Alliance said its members would not take deputy chief constable Clive Wolfendale's comments "lying down".

In his online blog, Mr Wolfendale attacked the "grand prix ambience" created by bikes in national parks.

The bike group said its phone lines had been "red hot" ever since.

The private meeting will be held in Denbigh at 1930 BST on Tuesday.

Member Alan Shepherd said: "It was a planned meeting anyway, but I imagine this issue will now be top of the agenda.

"The phone lines have been red hot since this came to light.

"We have an excellent relationship with the police at the moment. I just can't understand this.

"A lot of people aren't very happy and they're not going to take it lying down."

The British Motorcyclists' Federation (BMF) claimed Mr Wolfendale's comments breached the police code of conduct and have written to the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to complain.

Bikers generic
Mr Wolfendale says motorbikes create a "grand prix" ambience

A statement on its website said: "Mr Wolfendale's web log... contained a number of remarks that appear to conflict with the police code of conduct, i.e. 'Police officers have a particular responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all their dealings with the public and their colleagues'.

"In what is obviously a personal blog, the BMF have asked if it is appropriate that the North Wales Police budget is used to fund the publication of a senior officer's personal opinions when Mr Wolfendale's comments on motorcycles in national parks appear to be far from impartial."

Mr Wolfendale, whose chief constable is Richard Brunstrom, wrote: "Leaving Brunstrom to man the bridge over the weekend, I took the missus up to the Lake District for a long weekend.

"Why I should swap one wilderness of lakes and hills for another is a good question; but they say a change is as good as a rest.

He went on: "The only detriment to this earthly paradise was the inescapable whine of motorcycles on the A592.

"Revving in frustration at the snaking traffic and inconvenient speed limits, the machines seemed wholly incompatible with the otherwise pristine scene."

He added: "Only on the highest peaks (I just about managed it on a misty Helvellyn) is it possible to escape the grand prix ambience.

"In Germany, some states have banned the use of motorcycles at the weekend in certain areas. Is it now time to banish motorcycles completely from our national parks?"

Responding to the BMF's comments about public money funding senior officers' blogs, chief constable Richard Brunstrom said: "This is exactly the area in which blogs excel, by enabling the public to understand more about the way in which senior police officers think, and to engage directly in a totally new way in debate with them.

"We will continue to develop blogging as a police policy."




SEE ALSO
Police chief in motorbike ban row
14 Aug 06 |  North East Wales
Police chief airs views in blog
19 Jul 06 |  North East Wales
Police chief calls for 7 pint
13 Aug 05 |  Wales
Police chief's 'demeaning' rap
27 Apr 04 |  North West Wales

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