"The law is an ass."
--Mr. Brumble, in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
"I refused to pay to paddle the river – it is a matter of principle – everyone should have the right to access water free of charge."
--Nigel Conway, after being arrested for paddling his kayak in a UK river.
Nigel Conway was treated like a criminal--a real criminal: arrested, fingerprinted, mug shots and DNA samples taken. His crime?
Paddling his kayak in a river in North Wales.
Mr Conway's ordeal is the latest controversy for North Wales police, whose chief constable Richard Brunstrom, has a habit of making headlines.
Nicknamed 'the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban' for his zeal on road safety issues, he has called for the number of speed cameras to be trebled, the legalisation of hard drugs and been forced to apologise for handing out pictures of a decapitated motorcyclist without the permission of the victim's family.
Mr Brunstrom also defied Crown Prosecution Service advice by investigating claims that Tony Blair shouted 'f****** Welsh' after Labour's poor performance in the 1999 Welsh Assembly election.
* Broken in Britain: The Future of American Justice?
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Nanny State: Squeezing the Zest for Life Out of the British
Waterway Access laws in the United Kingdom are much different than in the United States.
Arthur Roberts, spokesman for campaigners People for Proper Policing, said: 'This beggars belief. It is another example of North Wales police going too far and criminalizing innocent members of the public trying to go about their daily lives.
'Not content with making the lives of motorists a misery, it seems North Wales police are going for canoeists as well. This is a total waste of taxpayers' money.'
British cops, never there when you need them; always there if no risk is involved.
* Canoeist arrested, held hours and DNA taken--crime? Paddling in a river