THE incident in Stokesley at the weekend which resulted in the death of teenager Daniel Crowther was shocking – because of the nature of the injury he suffered, the young victim’s promising future and the location, a usually quiet North Yorkshire market town.

Of course, such towns do have their problems. There is always the potential for disorder, especially late on weekend evenings, when the pubs close and the people who have had their fill of drink go in search of something to soak up the alcohol. The late-night takeaway is a potential flashpoint and so it proved in the early hours of Saturday morning.

While the exact circumstances of Daniel Crowther’s death will be duly revealed in court following the start of legal proceedings, this is the scenario which led to the dreadful incident last weekend.

The citizens of Stokesley and towns like it are entitled to ask about the numbers of police deployed at these locations at these particular times. The Darlington & Stockton Times understands that it is not untypical for northern Hambleton to be patrolled by just two officers in one patrol car – a statistic that many residents will surely find alarming.

As the disciplined chief constable continues in his job, we hope he will apply his mind to increasing the numbers of officers deployed in town centre flashpoints late at night.