Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
I’ll phone up troublemakers’ mums, says new police chief
5:10pm Saturday 17th January 2009 in Dales Folk
“Does your mother know?” That’s what Skipton’s new police chief is asking young troublemakers.
And he is making sure that parents find out exactly what their offspring have been doing – by giving them a telephone call.
Inspector Craig Linton is demanding mobile phone numbers of parents and contacting them on the spot when he catches youths involved in anti-social behaviour such as under-age drinking.
The 44-year-old inspector, who is heading Skipton’s Safer Neighbour-hood Team, has pledged to make parents far more accountable in the fight against youth crime.
“Too often parents abrogate their responsibilities regarding their children, not knowing where they are or who they are with,” said Insp Linton. “When I come across youths drinking under age or engaged in anti-social behaviour, I ask for the parents’ home or mobile numbers and I ring them there and then. If I don’t get the number I say I’ll lock them up and that generally does the trick.
“I’m sick and tired of people thinking they know more about their rights than their responsibilities and this will change. I am no shrinking violet, I will be ruthless with yobbos, street drinking and violent offenders.”
And speaking generally of his crime-fighting mission, he said: “I am here at Skipton to make a difference to the quality of life of the majority of the population who are law-abiding people.
“My aim is that officers will harass, target and generally make life unbearable for the minority of criminals who think they can commit crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Insp Linton is no stranger to controversy or high-profile policing, having whipped up a storm of protest after he called for a ban on travelling fairgrounds in Ripon while he was stationed in the town.
North Yorkshire Police received a record number of complaints in response to the suggestion.
He is a strong believer in grass roots neighbourhood policing and is not afraid to make the odd enemy along the way.
His confidence and determination are coupled with an impressive record for bravery and he was recently awarded a 22-year long service and good conduct medal.
The son of a Yorkshire Dales hill farmer, Insp Linton joined North Yorkshire Police in 1986 and was posted to Harrogate before joining the force’s Task Force Team four years later.
While a member of the task force, he took part in several high-profile investigations, including that into the attempted murder of lone female hiker Josephine Chandler at Catterick Bridge. He was part of a team commended by a crown court judge for the successful murder investigation following the violent death of pensioner Percy Noble at Sleights in 1992.
He found the murder weapon in thick undergrowth and this significant evidence played an important part in the offender pleading guilty to murder and receiving a life sentence. Insp Linton was also a member of the firearms team involved in the search for two IRA suspects following the shooting of special constable Glenn Goodman near Tadcaster in 1992.
In 1994, he was promoted to sergeant and spent two years at Skipton before taking up a post at Bruche Training Centre, training new recruits. On his return he undertook custody officer duties, along with local area policing, before moving to Ripon in 2000.
He was promoted Neighbourhood Team Inspector in 2003 and has spent the past five years in charge of the Ripon and Pateley Bridge Policing Team where he introduced Safer Neighbourhood Policing .
Insp Linton has received three crown court judges’ commendations along with a chief constable’s commendation for disarming a man with a knife who was threatening to kill a hostage.
He has been married to Samantha for seven years and lives in Nidderdale. He has represented North Yorkshire Police at football, rugby union, cricket and golf. His hobbies include mountain biking, walking and skiing.
“I am really pleased to be back here in Skipton,” said Insp Linton. “It’s like I’ve never been away. It’s a positive place to work with really friendly people.”