A CHIEF inspector believes that North Wales Police continues to carry the “stigma,” over a decade after it was accused of “waging war on motorists.”

Once dubbed the “Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban” because of his strong views against speeding, Richard Brunstrom was chief constable of the force between 2001 and 2009.

During his tenure he admitted to being “obsessed” with tackling speeding motorists and officers were later found hiding in horse boxes to catch such offenders.

But during a meeting on Monday, responding to a comment that many constituents were of the opinion that police were “only interested in catching motorists doing 32 in a 30mph zone”, Gwynedd’s county chief inspector vehemently disagreed.

Chief insp Mark Armstrong told the meeting of Gwynedd’s Dwyfor Area Committee: “I recently spent a week in Warwickshire and saw many more speed cameras there than there are in north Wales, almost two in every village.

“We seem to still have this stigma from Richard Brunstrom and the days that people believed we were targeting speed like it was going out of fashion.

“Yes there are still vans out and about and an operative of a van on the Felinheli bypass recently told me that between 6am and 7am one morning he caught 40 people with the highest speed recorded at 89mph.

“But we don’t police speed anything like we used to 10 years ago or before that, yet we still get the old “police only catch speeders.”

“You will rarely see a police officer standing out with a speed camera as we simply don’t have the time to do that nowadays with so many complex mental health and welfare needs to deal with.

“There were days when we spent all our days on crime but we are now dealing with so many more social issues than in years gone by.”