Scarborough Police Inspector Tony Quinn has described winning a Lifetime Achievement Award as a “big honour” following a 30-year career in the force.
Insp Quinn was awarded the prestigious accolade at this year’s Safer Neighbourhoods Awards, which recognises the work of police officers, PCSOs and volunteers in North Yorkshire.
It comes as the inspector, who has led the Scarborough team since 2009, prepares to walk the beat for the last time when he retires in October.
He said: “It’s a big honour and it’s nice when I’m coming towards the end of my career to receive the recognition.
“I’m very proud of my role in Scarborough and the fact that the police are able to not only to tackle issues relating to crime and disorder, but also take on a wider role of getting involved with community issues.”
Insp Quinn joined the police force on October 4, 1982, and has enjoyed a varied career, taking up posts in CID as a detective constable, detective sergeant and detective inspector within Scarborough and York. He was also Filey’s inspector for four years.
Insp Quinn, who lives in Scarborough, instigated and carried out a number of initiatives, including playing a significant role as a board member that saw the introduction and continued success of the district’s Street Angels and Youth Angels.
He has also been a driving force behind Operation Norseman, which was set-up in 2001 to protect foreign students visiting Scarborough who were being targeted by residents. By working with the council, language schools, the university, businesses and other voluntary agencies, incident levels have dropped to zero in the last year.
However, Insp Quinn, who has not had a single sick day since 1999, lists his proudest achievement as his work in one of the town’s most deprived areas, which was sparked by the mysterious death of 44-year-old Darryl Craig, whose badly beaten body was discovered at Peasholm Glen in 2006.
Insp Quinn said: “I was investigating the death and whilst it was treated as a possible murder, this has never been proved. During the investigation we discovered there was quite a lot of criminality and intimidation in Barrowcliff that hadn’t been reported and that’s what spurred me to make tackling crime in the estate a priority.”
Insp Quinn’s work with the Community Safety Partnership helped pave the way for the ‘My Barrowcliff’ initiative - a five-year regeneration project which will see the estate transformed.
Other high-profile cases include the disappearance of Scarborough resident Gavin Wilson in 2006 and Whitby woman Janet Cowley in 2008. Both are still missing.
He said: “I led both inquiries and worked with the families of both. Sadly we have never been able to find either of them.”
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Tony was awarded the chief constable’s prize for Highest Achieving Officer at training school in 1982. It’s absolutely fitting he finishes his career with this award.”