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back to article North Wales Police institute new happiness law

Police in North Wales are road-testing a new offence: it's called "failing to make a police officer happy". That, at least, is the conclusion that some viewers might draw from a recording posted earlier this week by biker mag, Motorcycle News (MCN). Penalties for not satisfying the copper contentment quota include possible …

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Bronze badge

Attempted to elicit?

He volunteered the details of the firearms vehicle when he identified that vehicle to be one.

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Black Helicopters

NWP are not very nice in my opinion

I live in North Wales and this sounds pretty realistic... Due to the almost complete absence of gun crime here, the armed police spend their days picking on motorists, usually in a Ford Galaxy. They are total arseholes in my experience (been stopped numerous times by them), totally uncooperative and utterly non-understanding. Without exception the pettiest and most officious people I've ever had the misfortune to come across.

Posting anon, because I have enough problems with them already.

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Anonymous Coward

don't hold your breath

There's a very good reason that the police have lost all respect from the public and that's because they have proven themselves to be untrustworthy in answering to the general public.

Police officers close ranks and invent all these tenuous (at best!) reasons for their illegal actions and then strangely no action is taken against them.

They are clearly above the law which is meant for us "civvies." They don't have to be bothered with such incidents.

In my local force area, a youth was knocked down and killed by a police officer - his fate? Having to undergo a training course.

There is no justice in the UK anymore.

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FAIL

How do we know it was an undercover firearms vehicle?

Well, because the officer kept repeating this fact!

Perhaps if he hadn't *said* anything about it, his safety would not have been put at risk...?

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Anonymous Coward

Friday afternoon comedy at its best

"- If he has committed an offence, will the police Force be taking action?"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Oh my sides ache,

Keep it up el Reg.

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JMB

Police steal camera

Surely the photographer would not have been aware that it was a firearms vehicle if they had not told him, it would just be a picture of a police car? If anyone is endangering their safety it is the plod who identified it as a firearms vehicle.

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You thought the MET was bad.

I have had the misfortune to deal with the north-wales police and i can confirm that they make the MET look like a bunch of tree hugging hippy peaceniks. I was stopped for travelling at 30mph in a 30 limit while carrying passengers in passenger vehicle. They will do anything to give you a ticket so they inspect vehicles over and over to find any issue. Fortunately they couldnt find anything wrong, but i still got a "producer" as i didnt have all my documents to hand.

I can understand them targeting bikers (as they tend to fly about northwales with scant regard to others), but then to claim to be in a "firearms car" and use that to snatch a camera (definately not kosher) is typical of the facist bullyboyos!

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Anonymous Coward

An aside

The next three weeks I will be in the UK and will be taking as many photos as I see fit. My last visit passed without incidence but every time I read of such things I wonder if I should just not bother and stay where I am.

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Wouldn't it save

lot of bother all round if the Met firearms officers pixellated their own faces? And WTF is a firearms vehicle? A James Bond style Z-Car? (I can't believe there were 667 episodes)

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Silver badge

Tie in with Disney?

> by agreeing to pixellate the faces of police marksmen. Head of CO19

Couldn't the police just issue their snipers with Mickey Mouse masks? That way there'd be no possibilty that one might not get pixelated. it might not keep the other constables happy (or maybe it would - who knows?) but would certainly entertain the public.

It may even act as a deterrent to any baddies who end up in the cross-hairs. Imagine having to admit to other prisoners (presuming the sniper in question was a crap shot) that they'd been shot by a mouse!

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Thumb Up

Agree

I live in North Wales although I am a car driver and don't own a bike. Regardless, the fat, lazy,bullied as a child, micropenis equipped wankplods still sit on their arses in inconspicious places targetting said drivers so they can deliver their devine retribution upon the driving population as a feel-good fix for the slovenly, childish, can't get a girlfriend coz I'm such a twat bastards that they are!!!

I don't like them much.

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Thumb Up

No Supprise

It Seems the police in have an anti motor bike policy.

I would like to say the Met. have been very supportive of NoToBikeParkingFees.com demonstrations though. Oh if you pay the sight a visit give them a tener they are trying to take Westminster Council to court over the Councils decision to charge motor bikes to park and need the cash.

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Please don't read this comment

You can't take a photo of this comment, becuase it is a plainly visible secret. Oh wait.. damn.

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Grenade

Good to see you support MCN

In my recent experience the Police in this country are useless at catching actual criminals who commit crimes like GBA or Sexual Assault and spend all their time harassing decent citizens. We need more journalists to get behind campaigns like this one and show the general public that it isn't just "evil" bikers that have a problem with the police but anyone who wants to live in the free country we used to have.

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WTF?

ARV

Armed Response Vehicles are advised by ACPO to display a retro-reflective yellow dot on them (sides, rear, roof) so they can be distinguished from normal traffic cars by other plods.

Seems strange to identify them, and then claim that identifying them could be dangerous to security...

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Anonymous Coward

North Wales Police

Do have a very bad reputation. They do now have a problem... Getting on the wrong side of bikers is never a good thing. They will scream and shout until somthing is done, and will vote on mass to change things if needed.

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Black Helicopters

well...

This is somewhat unsurprising. The NWP have been targeting motorcyclists unfairly for ages. Brunstrom, the head of police (He was retiring last I heard, may have done so now, but possibly not. If so, his legacy lives on) has admitted he hates bikes and bikers on several occasions. NWP have even been causght falfifying evidence, and following bikes in a helicopter <i>on the offchance</i> they <i>might at some point</i> speed.

Having said that, I know that some bikers do ride irresponsibly, and the A55 is an inviting road to do so on. I have no problem with them catching people who ride/drive recklessly, but they ignore speeding cars in case they miss a biker.

Anon. As I do ride myself, which would likely mean I get hit with a ticket for speeding in NW. Dispite the fact I have never ridden there.

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FAIL

Firearms cars are hardly secret...

Round here all fire arms cars are estates (normally Volvos) with tinted windows and a fecking great neon pink star on the bonnet, bootlid and roof. Hardly hiding from those evil terrorist photographers, now are they...?

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WTF?

Firearms car ?

WTF is a firearms car ?

Has Q been selling his wares on eBay ?

As a semi-pro photographer, wherever I go a few cameras follow. Astoundingly, so far I haven't been arrested in Britain. Maybe I ought to go to Wales.

Because it's so obvious that "terrists" will go about with a big DSLR and a discrete 70-200 in order to get the sharpest possible pictures. And then they'll probably upload them to Flickr's "Terror" group too... So much better than a quick sketch.

Now I think the police just do what they're told to (and a lot of them, not being too bright to start with, just go ahead with that), but the real problem is whoever starts them on that track. Those people are often elected officials, and are obviously not playing with a full deck. They should be put away (or preferably taken back and shot).

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Grenade

I am not a terrorist

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

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Silver badge

Anti-bike Police

The Welsh police have a long and glorious history of being anti-bike. OK, some bikers don't help matters with loud cans, small plates and riding like total dicks, but other forces seem to deal well enough with it (i.e. targeting the dicks and leaving the rest alone).

Heck, up here you even get a nod or wave from the bike cops.

Whilst MCN is at times...err...confrontational, I think they are quite justified with their current campaign. Why target law-abiding citizens when there are criminals about?

Brunstrom seemed to think he was above the law and that appears to have filtered down to the rest. It unfortunate as lots of other forces have good relationships with the biking community (lots of coppers are bikers too), but NWP are just pissing in everyone's pot.

There's a simple answer though, don't enter Wales; take your money elsewhere.

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Silver badge

How can I tell?

If it's illegal for me to take a photo of firearms cars, how am I to identify them so that I know not to take a photo?

If the police want to enforce this they should put large, plainly visible notices on all sides of such vehicles, saying "THIS IS A FIREARMS CAR. IT IS ILLEGAL TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF IT."

After all such notices are used elsewhere, so there is no excuse not to do so.

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Have a look in their comments section

You'll see someone claiming to be that police officer, behaving most unprofessionally.

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FAIL

SuperTim

replace Bikers with Asians in your post and you might spot what was wrong with your post.

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Thumb Down

Dyfed Powys aren't much better

Dyfed Powys came up with a stop all bikers thing a few years ago. Ended up stopping the same bloke, on his way to work from Brynaman to Swansea, every day for a week. The bloke was on the front of the local rag holding all of his producers.

Also - got stopped, for a reason that was never made clear to me, just outside of Llandovery. Plod then had a field day when he found that the car was registered to the G/Fs mum. Of course plod was deflated when he found that the car wasn't reported stolen, was taxed and MOTed, I was insured to drive it, had no defects and after several phone calls confirmed that she knew I was driving the car (I was dropping something off for her).

After this whole thing I was told by Plod - "Don't do it again". When I asked what I had actually done wrong, and should not do again, Plod replied "That" and got in his car and drove off.

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Silver badge

@The BigYin

> There's a simple answer though, don't enter Wales; take your money elsewhere.

Unfortunately if bikers do that, the Police will have won, since they'll have succeeded in driving the bikers out of "their" area.

Not only that, but it will give ammunition to other attempts to "protect" bikers from themselves such as the campaign to ban bikes from the A537 "Cat and Fiddle" ride in the Peak District.

The only way for bikers to win and, indeed, everyone who respects liberties and the rule of law (rather than the "rule of Police State") is to stage *more* of these rides and point out how much time and public money the Police are wasting harassing innocent riders.

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Flame

Brunstrom and bikers

It is well known that Richard Brunstrom has ruined North Wales police by making it into a revenue creating machine. He has admitted that he loves speed cameras, probably goes to bed with them. We have been caught by his police vehicles which just wait for those going over 30mph. We were caught going at 33mph just 10 metres before the national speed limit signpost and got 3 penalty points and 60 pound fine!

Maybe everyone on the Reg will want to read this article from the BBC Wales news on Richard Brunstrom's attitude to motorbikes where he showed journalists accident photos which shows a decapitated head:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7103193.stm

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FAIL

Welsh police

Was it not the Welsh police who also harassed WRC drivers at the Wales GB Rally?

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Alert

About Brunstrom..

He's left now, went a month or two ago. His deputy has been filling in until he retires any day now and a new guy has been chosen.

To give you an idea of what the police are like here, one idea being mooted is actually BANNING bikes from Snowdonia National Park - for those that don't know, that's a fecking big place. Utterly bonkers and impractical, but that doesn't normally stop our beloved Heddlu Gogledd Cymru

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Pint

Personally

I've never had any issues with NWP or any other force, but it's just a matter of time I'm sure, Even if my bike is 100% legal, correct size plate and original exhausts and all.

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FAIL

ARV?

Simple, a 5 leg star shape marks out ARV's, some (most of the new) AFO's are rightious idiots, certainly a number of photog's have had similar bullshine foisted upon them... Thats why they are known as 'The Kevlar Cowboys' in the job.

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Brunstrom

Has been targeting bikers for eons. In his eyes (and the eyes of Ass Con Bill Holland of Warwickshire) we are obviously lower than a snakes belly.

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Oh, I forgot...

Hope you don't mind, but this article has now been linked to in the forums at:

100-biker.co.uk

bikersweb.co.uk

and

bikerlifestyle.co.uk

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Anonymous Coward

and

And at the same time the filth couldn't give a shit if you're being tormented to breaking point for years http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/8263027.stm

The other day I was strolling home when a trio of pussies walked past, turned and lobbed concors at me. I did of course give them the finger and inform them they threw like girls. Where they limp wristedly threw two more before skulking back down the road.

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Stop

Sounds Like Extreme Porn

"A picture containing the registration number of a firearms vehicle might fall into this category."

As others have pointed out, if there's a security risk from photos of that vehicle being seen, wouldn't that mean there's a security risk from the vehicle itself being seen? Otherwise, how could there be a security risk from people seeing photos of it?

If showing the registration number is a security risk, isn't there already that security risk from the vehicle itself displaying its registration number? If not, how can it be a security risk in photos?

If it is as speculated in the article (and I accept it's just speculation), then it would be as silly as the extreme porn law criminalising possession of harmless photos of lawful acts.

So, we've got:-

* the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which amends the Protection of Children Act 1978 so that, while you can legally have consensual sex with a seventeen-year-old, it's generally a crime to possess a dirty photo of someone that age;

* the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which criminalises possession of "extreme pornographic images", even though many such images do no harm, do not form part of any actual, illegal abuse, and are images of entirely lawful acts;

* and we've got the Coroners and Justice Bill, working its way through parliament, which will criminalise possession of "prohibited images of children", including dirty drawings of the aforementioned seventeen-year-old who you can legally have consensual sex with.

And now we've got this nonsense as well, with police objecting to photos of the police themselves shown as they appear in public anyway.

There's a growing theme these days of banning harmless images of lawful stuff, stuff you can lawfully see with your eyes without any harm being done.

This is just insane.

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Black Helicopters

Llanberis pass

The speeds being done by some of the Bikers going over the Llanberis pass last sunday were nothing short of frightening. For those who haven't been there, it's narrow (for an A road) and on a mountain ledge. The slightest mistake and you're either into the wall/cliff face or tumbling down a very steep slope. If the police want to catch dangerous bikers, this would be a great place to hang out, but i've never see a police officer there ever, obviously they are far too busy hassling the innocent elsewhere.

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Bronze badge

pressure

I hope that El Reg keeps up the pressure on these police-state-wannabees making up the rules as they go along. I don't expect anyone will get disciplined for making up the rules - after all, the police is never wrong as far as they're concerned - but it would be nice to get at least an official statement from someone that we can tear apart and ridicule.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe just an unmarked car?

Perhaps it was just an unmarked police car (if it's the one visible in the picture) and he didn't want its number publicized, but didn't think that would sound good enough?

I once got stopped (not on a bike) in Cambridgeshire by a black plod with a Welsh accent. No doubt he helped them meet two quota targets at least.

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Call the coppers

I'd have called the police and said that I was being robbed by some someone impersonating a police officer. After all a real police officer wouldn't steal your camera.

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Badgers

Something Useful from the Home Office

Last month the Home Office issued some reasonably straightforward guidance in this circular:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/publications/home-office-circulars/circulars-2009/012-2009/

It has recently been circulated in my force (yes, I'm a police officer), and I genuinely hope it counters some of the ignorance and misinformation I've encountered.

If you see me on the beat you're welcome to take my picture. Might crack the lens mind.

PC AC

(Badgers, because the Badgers Act comes up in the Sergeants exam every year. Believe me, I know)

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Flame

and brits think us types are crazy

For wanting and keeping their guns. Time to take your country back, boyo.

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Happy

paranoia

Happiness is mandatory, citizen.

Are you happy?

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WTF?

Firearms vehicle?

Another confused foreigner here, wondering what a firearms vehicle is and why it needs to be so carefully protected. I mean, it sounds like something which is perfectly capable of taking care of itself should a terrorist happen to show up...

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Unhappy

Brainstorm

is so reviled by retired North Wales Police plod of all levels that they're practically queueing up to write letters to the regional press castigating him for the laughing stock he turned their once-proud force into, and for destroying the public's trust. On his retirement he gave a parting shot at the force, saying that prior to his arrival the force was afraid of tackling high-profile organised crime:

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2009/08/24/richard-brunstrom-s-parting-shot-for-north-wales-police-55578-24513697/

His "Look at me, aren't I wonderful, the force was crap before I turned up and now it's the best" went down like a lead balloon.

That's not to say that Dyfed Powys aren't much better. They've TWICE managed to get a biker rally cancelled - one at the last minute I seem to recall - because of concerns they had about a potential riot taking place between various factions, but had no firm evidence to back this up. Did anyone say "free country"? Is this what some of my relatives fought and died for in the past two world wars?

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Boyo!

South Wales phrase = FYI

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Pirate

I have three words for ya' lot...

"Policing by consent."

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Anonymous Coward

North Wales Police

A few years ago I had to go to Wrexham Police Station to install a new computer and software, the DS who I was installing the stuff for was kind enough to give me the following advice the day before I went.

"When you get into Wales watch out for the Traffic Police, they are all c*nts."

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WTF?

yet another symptom...

of our (not so) gradual slide towards a totalitarian police state.

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Black Helicopters

A thought with the camera issue

I'm on the other side of the pond, so I don't know about the practicalities and likely response, but it seems to me that a flash mob approach could be an entertaining way to deal with the police seizing cameras issue.

Arrange for 20-30 people to show up around a cop or police car, take their picture and then immediately disperse in different directions. Do it enough times, don't hang around longer than necessary to take the shot and pick isolated cops and you ought to make your point pretty fast.

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Stop

A major clean-up is needed.

It will take decades, or a very substantial civil insurrection, to move the police back into a public service ethos.

This "we are the masters, you will obey!" attitude has to be eradicated - a good start would be to formally discipline all officers who are discourteous to a law-abiding citizen (just as we would if they were bus drivers or nurses). It will probably be necessary to get rid of 90% of the senior officers though, as they plainly don't care about incidents like this one.

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